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LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF 
CALIFORNIA 
SAN DIE6O 



THE WORKS 



OF 



Robert G. Ingersoll 



"JUSTICE SHOULD REMOVE THE BANDAGE FROM HER 
EYES LONG ENOUGH TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE 

VICIOUS AND THE UNFORTUNATE." 

I 



IN TWELVE VOLUMES 

VOLUME X. 



LEGAL 



NEW YORK 

THE DRESDEN PUBLISHING CO., 
C. P. FARRELL 
MCMII 



COPYRIGHT, igoo 

BY 
C. P. FARRELL 

COPYRIGHT, 1901 

BY 
THE DRESDEN PUBLISHING CO. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME X. 

ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

Demoralization caused by Alcohol Note from the Chicago Times 
Prejudice Review of the Testimony of Jacob Rehm Perjury 
Characterized The Defendant and the Offence Charged (p. 21) 
Testimony of Golsen Reviewed Rehm's Testimony before the Grand 
Jury Good Character (p. 29) Suspicion not Evidence, . 7-36 

CLOSING ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE FIRST 
STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Note from the Washington Capital The Assertion Denied that' we 
are a Demoralized Country and that our Country is Distinguished 
among the Nations only for Corruption Duties of Jurors and Duties 
of Lawyers Section under which the Indictment is Found Cases 
cited to Show that Overt Acts charged and also the Crime itself must 
be Proved as Described Routes upon which Indictments are Based 
and Overt Acts Charged (pp. 54-76) Routes on which the Making of 
False Claims is Alleged Authorities on Proofs of Conspiracy (pp. 
91-94) Examination of the Evidence against Stephen W. andjohn VV. 
Dorsey (pp. 96-117) The Corpus Delicti in a Case of Conspiracy 
and the Acts Necessary to be Done in Order to Establish Conspiracy 
(pp. 120-123) Testimony of Walsh and the Confession of Rerdell 
Extravagance in Mail Carrying (p. 128) Productiveness of Mail 
Routes (p. 131) Hypothesis of Guilt and Law of Evidence Danger 
ous Influence of Suspicion Terrorizing the Jury The Woman at 
Her Husband's Side, 39-141 

OPENING ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE SECOND 
STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Juries the Bulwark of Civil Liberty Suspicion Not Evidence Brief 
Statement of the Case John M. Peck, John W. Dorsey, Stephen W. 
Dorsey, John R. Miner, Mr. (A. E. ; Boone (p.p. 150-156) The Clen- 
denning Bonds Miner's, Peck's, and Dorsey's Bids Why they Bid 
on Cheap Routes Number of Routes upon which there are Indict 
mentsThe Arrangement between Stephen W. Dorsey and John R. 
Miner Appearance of Mr. Vaile in the Contracts Partnership 
Formed The Routes Divided Senator Dorsey's Course after Get 
ting the Routes His Routes turned over to James W. Bosler Profits 

(v) VOL. x. 



Vi CONTENTS. 

of the Business (p. 181) The Petitions for More Mails Productive 
and Unproductive Post-offices Men who Add to the Wealth of the 
World Where the Idea of the Productiveness of Post routes was 
Hatched Cost of Letters to Recipients in 1843 The Overland Mail 
(p. 190) Loss in Distributing the Mail in the District of Columbia and 
Other Territories Post-office the only Evidence of National Bene 
ficence Profit and Loss of Mail Carrying Orders Antedated, and 
Why Routes Increased and Expedited Additional Bonds for Ad 
ditional Trips The Charge that Pay was Received when the Mail was 
not Carried Fining on Shares Subcontracts for Less than the 
Original Contracts Pay on Discontinued Routes Alleged False 
Affidavits Right of Petition Reviewing the Ground, . 145-215 

CLOSING ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE SECOND 
STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Scheme of the Indictment Story of the Case What Constitutes 
Fraudulent Bidding How a Conspiracy Must be Proved The Hy 
pothesis of Guilt and Law of Evidence Conversation Unsatisfactory 
Evidence Fallibility of Memory Proposition to Produce Mr. 
Dorsey's Books Interruption of the Court to Decide that Primary 
Evidence, having Once been Refused, can not afterwards be Intro 
duced to Contradict Secondary Evidence A Defendant may not be 
Presumed into the Penitentiary A Decision by Justice Field The 
Right of PetitionWas there a Conspiracy ? Dorsey's Benevolence 
(p. 250) The Chico Springs Letter Evidence of Moore Reviewed 
Mr. Ker's Defective Memory The Informer System Testimony 
of Rerdell Reviewed His Letter to Dorsey (p. 304) The Affidavit 
of Rerdell and Dorsey Petitions for Faster Time Uncertainty Re 
garding Handwriting Government Should be Incapable of Deceit 
Rerdell's withdrawal of the Plea of Not Guilty (p. 362) Informers, 
their Immunity and Evidence Nailing Down the Lid of Rerdell's 
Coffin -Mistakes of Messrs. Ker and Merrick and the Court Letter 
of H. M. Vaile to the Sixth Auditor Miner's Letter to Carey Miner, 
Peck & Co. to Frank A. Tuttle Answering Points Raised by Mr. 
BHss (396 et seq.) Evidence regarding the Payment of Money by 
Dorsey to Brady A. E. Boone's Testimony Reviewed Secrecy of 
Contractors Regarding the Amount of their Bids Boone's Partner 
ship Agreement with Dorsey Explanation of Bids in Different Names 
-Omission of Instructions from Proposals (p. 450) Accusation that 
Senator Mitchell was the Paid Agent of the Defendants Alleged 
Sneers at Things held Sacred What is a Conspiracy ? The Theory 
that there was a Conspiracy Dorsey's Alleged Interest The Two 
Affidavits in Evidence Inquiry of General Miles Why the Defend 
ant's Books were not Produced James W. Bosler's Testimony Read 
(p. 500) The Court shown to be Mistaken Regarding a Decision Pre 
viously Made (pp. 496-502) No Logic in Abuse Charges against John 
W. Miner Testimony of A. W. Moore Reviewed -The Verdict Pre 
dictedThe Defendants in the Case What is left for the Jury to Say 
Remarks of Messrs. Henkle and Davidge The Verdict, (note > 

VOL.* 2I9532 



CONTENTS. Vii 

ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE DAVIS WILL CASE. 

Note from the Anaconda Standard Senator Sander's Warning to 
the Jury Not to be Enticed by Sinners Evidence, based on Quality 
of Handwriting, that Davis did not Write the Will Evidence of the 
Spelling Assertion that the Will was Forged Peculiarities of Eddy's 
Handwriting Holes in Sconce's Signature and Reputation His 
Memory Business Sagacity of Davis His Alleged Children Date 
of his Death Testimony of Mr. Knight Ink used in Writing the 
Will Expert Evidence Speech lessness of John A. Davis Eddy's 
Failure to take the Stand Testimony of Carruthers Relatives of 
Sconce Mary Ann Davis's Connections The Family Tree The Sig 
nature of the Will What the Evidence Shows Duty and Opportu 
nity of the Jury 535-585 

ARGUMENT BEFORE THE VICE-CHANCELLOR IN THE 
RUSSELL CASE. 

Antenuptial Waiving of Dower by Women A Case from Illinois 
At What Age Men and Women Cease to Feel the Tender Flame 
Russell's Bargain with Mrs. Russell Antenuptial Contract and 
Parole Agreement Definition of " Liberal Provision " The Woman 
not Bound by a Contract Made in Ignorance of the Facts Contract 
Destroyed by Deception. ... . 589-602 

You x. 



THE MUNN TRIAL. 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL.* 

IF the Court please and the gentlemen of the jury : Out of 
an abundance of caution and, as it were, an extrava 
gance of prudence, I propose to make a few remarks to 
you in this case. The evidence has been gone over by my 
associates, and arguments have been submitted to you 
which, in my judgment, are perfectly convincing as far as 
the innocence of this defendant is concerned. I am aware, 
however, that there is a prejudice against a case of this 
.haracter. I am aware that there is a prejudice against 
any man engaged in the manufacture of alcohol. I know 
there is a prejudice against a case of this kind ; and there 
is a very good reason for it. I believe to a certain degree 
with the district attorney in this case, who has said that 
every man who makes whiskey is demoralized. I believe, 

The United States vs. Daniel W. Munn, Deputy Supervisor of Internal Revenue, 
who was indicted under Section 5440 of the Revised Statutes of the United States. 

There was an unusual rush to obtain admission to the United States District Court 
room yesterday to listen to the closing arguments of counsel in the Munn whiskey 
conspiracy trial which has attracted so much attention during the past ten days. 
The stalwart deputy who guards the entrance to this judicial precinct was compelled 
to employ his entire strength and power of persuasion to keep the eager, anxious 
crowd from trespassing on the convenience and dignity of the court. About ten 
o' clock the Court took the bench, and Col. Ingersoll walked into the room, took 
oft' a broad-brimmed felt hat, which gives the oarrister, while he has it on, some 
what the appearance of a full-grown, well-developed Quaker in good standing in 
the society to which he belongs. When he has the hat removed, however, the 
counsellor's appearance undergoes a marked change. He then looks like the 
crop-haired follower of the house of Montague in the Shakespearean play. He sat 
down on a crazy old chair which threatened even' moment to break down beneath 
bis weight, and listened to the remarks of Judge Doolittle for the remainder of the 
morning, until it came his time to talk. Colonel Ingersoll never troubles himself 
to take notes of anything. What he cannot recollect he does not have any use for. 

Judge Doolittle occupied the morning session until the time for adjournment at 
one o' clock, with a review of the case on the side of the defence. He was followed 
by Mr. Ingersoll in the afternoon. 

At two o' clock the court-room was more crowded than before, and at that hour 
Mr. Ingersoll appeared in the forum and delivered his speech in behalf of the de 
fendant. The Times, Chicago, Ills., May 28, 1876. (7) 



8 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

gentlemen, to a certain degree, it demoralizes those who 
make it, those who sell it, and those who drink it. I be 
lieve from the time it issues from the coiled and poisonous 
worm of the distillery, until it empties into the hell of 
crime, dishonor, and death, that it demoralizes every 
body that touches it. I do not believe anybody can 
contemplate the subject without becoming prejudiced 
against this liquid crime. All we have to do, gentle 
men, is to think of the wrecks upon either bank of 
the stream of death of the suicides, of the insanity, 
of the poverty, of the ignorance, of the distress, of the 
little children tugging at the faded dresses of weeping and 
despairing wives, asking for bread ; of the men of genius 
it has wrecked ; the millions struggling with imaginary 
serpents produced by this devilish thing. And when you 
think of the jails, of the almshouses, of the asylums, of 
the prisons, of the scaffolds upon either bank I do not 
wonder that every thoughtful man is prejudiced against 
the damned stuff called alcohol. And I know that we, to 
a certain degree, have to fight that prejudice in this case; 
and so I say, for this reason among others, I deem it 
proper that I should submit to you, gentlemen, the ideas 
that occur to my mind upon this subject. 

It may be proper for me to say here that I thank you, 
one and all, for the patience you have shown during this 
trial. You have patiently heard this testimony ; you have 
patiently given your attention, I believe, to every word 
that has fallen from the lips of these witnesses, and for 
one I am grateful to you for it. 

Now, gentlemen, understanding that there is this preju 
dice, knowing at the time the case commenced that it 
existed, I asked each one of you if there was any prejudice 
in your minds which in your judgment would prevent 
your giving a fair and candid verdict in this case, and you 
all, honestly, I know, replied that there was not. The 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 9 

district attorney, Judge Bangs, stated to you in the opening 
of this case, for the purpose of preparing your minds for 
the examination of this testimony, that you must, first of 
all, divest your minds of sympathy. I do not say that, 
gentlemen, neither would I say it were I the attorney of 
the Government of the United States, but I do say this : 
Divest yourselves of prejudice if you have it, but do not, 
gentlemen, divest yourselves of sympathy. What is the 
great distinguishing characteristic of man ? What is it that 
distinguishes you and me from the lower animals from 
the beasts ? More, I say, than anything else, human sym 
pathy human sympathy. Were it not for sympathy, 
gentlemen, the idea of justice never would have entered 
the human brain. This thing called sympathy is the 
mother of justice, and although justice has been painted 
blind, never has she been represented as heartless until so 
represented by the district attorney in this case. I tell you 
there is no more sacred, no more holy, and no purer thing 
than what you and I call sympathy ; and the man who is 
unsympathetic is not a man. Gentlemen, the white breast 
of the lily is filthy as compared to the human heart per 
fumed with love and sympathy. I do not want you to 
divest yourselves of sympathy, neither do I want you to 
try the case entirely upon sympathy, but I want you sym 
pathetic enough to put yourselves honestly in the place of 
this defendant. Now, gentlemen, as a matter of fact, this 
case resolves itself into simply one point ; all the rest is 
nothing ; all the rest is the merest fog that can be brushed 
from the mind with a wave of the hand, and it is all 
resolved down to simply one point, and that is : Is Jacob 
Rehm worthy of credit ? Has Jacob Rehm told against 
this defendant a true story ? 

Now, that is all there is in this case. The other points 
that they raise, and which I shall allude to before I get 
through, are valuable only as they cast a certain amount of 



TO ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

suspicion upon the defendant, but the real point is, and 
the attorneys for the Government know it, Is Mr. Jacob 
Rehm's story worthy of credit ? Did he tell the truth ? 
Judge Bangs felt that was the only question, and for that 
reason, in advance, he defended the reputation of Jacob 
Rehm for truth and veracity; and he made to the jury this 
remarkable statement : " The reputation of Jacob Rehm 
for truth and veracity is good. It spreads all over the city 
of Chicago like sunlight. " That was the statement made 
by the district attorney of the United States. I do not 
believe that he would swear to that part of his speech. It 
was an insult to every person on this jury. It was an 
insult to this court ; it was an insult to the intelligence of 
every bystander, that the reputation of Jacob Rehm spread 
like sunlight all over the city of Chicago ! My God ! 
what kind of sunlight do you mean ? Think of it ! 
| Now, then, gentlemen, he knew it was necessary to 
defend the character of Mr. Rehm ; he knew it was neces 
sary to defend that statement. He knew that the testi 
mony of Mr. Rehm was the only nail upon which the jury 
could possibly hang a verdict of guilty in this case. 

And now I propose to examine a little the testimony of 
Mr. Jacob Rehm. I believe it was stated by Judge Bangs 
that one of the best tests of truth was that a lie was at 
war with all the facts in the universe, and that every fact 
standing, as it were, on guard, was a member of the police 
of the universe to arrest all lies. 

Let me state another truth. Every fact in the universe 
will fit every other fact in the universe. A lie never did, 
never will fit anything but another lie made to fit it. 
Never, never ! A lie is unnatural. A lie, in the nature of 
things, is a monstrosity. A lie is no part of the great 
circle, including the universe within its grasp, and conse 
quently, as I said before, will fit nothing except another 
lie. Now, then, to examine the testimony of a witness, 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. II 

you examine into its naturalness, into its probability, 
because you expect another man to act something as you 
would under the same circumstances. We have no other 
way to judge other people except by our own experience 
and an authenticated record of the experience of others, 
consequently, when a man is telling a story, you have to 
apply to it the test of your own experience, and as I say 
the recorded tests of other honest men. 

Now, let us suppose just for a moment that the testimony 
of Mr. Jacob Rehm is true. Let us suppose it. It has 
been stated to you, and admirably stated, by Judge Doo- 
little, admirably stated, that it was the height of absurd 
ity to suppose that a man would do as he did for nothing. 
But let me put it in another light somewhat. According 
to the testimony of Mr. Jacob Rehm, he first tried to stop 
this stealing. Nobody offered him any money to stop it, 
but he simply went to the collector, Irwin, and said they 
were stealing, and that it must be stopped ; and thereupon 
Collector Irwin changed the gaugers for the purpose of 
stopping the stealing. A few days thereafter, somebody 
came to him and wanted the stealing to commence, and he 
told them they would have to pay for it, and the amount 
they would have to pay for it, and he then went to Col 
lector Irwin, whom he supposed at that time to be a 
perfectly honest and upright man, and told him, in short, 
that they wanted to steal, and would give five hundred 
dollars a month. Irwin said, " Go ahead." 

He admits that they did steal. He admits that they 
made a bargain with him. He admits that that happened, 
and he assigned all these gaugers and store-keepers. He 
admits that he did that for two years. He admits that he 
received at least one hundred and twenty thousand 
dollars of this money. He admits that in order to 
carry out this scheme he knew that every distiller 
would have to sign a lie every time he made a report 



t 2 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

to the Government. He admits that he knew every gauger 
\vould have to swear to a lie at the end of every month in 
his report of the transactions of each day. He admits that 
every store-keeper would be guilty of perjury every time 
he made a report. He admits that he knew that the thing 
that he was committing for two years was a daily peni 
tentiary offence. He admits that he put himself in the 
power of all these gaugers and all these store-keepers, and 
all these distillers and rectifiers, put it in their power to 
have him arrested for a penitentiary offence at any moment 
during the whole two years, and yet he tells you that he 
did this absolutely for nothing ! He tells you every cent 
he received he divided and paid over ; that he never kept a 
solitary dollar, except it may be for a box of cigars. I 
want the attorney for the Government to tell this jury that 
he believes that story. And if he does tell you so, gentle 
men, I will give you notice now that you need not believe 
any other word Mr. Ayer says if he says he believes that. 

Now, then, what more? He knew that all these men 
were committing these penitentiary offences, and that he 
was putting himself in the power of all these men ; and 
what was his motive ? What, gentlemen, was his object ? 

It is impossible for me to imagine. If he got no money, 
if he made nothing out of this transaction, it is impossible 
for me to imagine why he embarked in such a course of 
crime. Why then did he say to you, gentlemen, that he 
paid all this money over ? It was to build up a reputation 
with you. It was to make you think that whereas he paid 
this all over, that whereas he did all this business simply 
to accommodate his friends, that he was worthy of credit 
in his statement of this case. He told you that he did not 
keep a dollar simply to make a reputation with you. 
What did he want a reputation with you for ? So that he 
would be believed. And what did he want to be believed 
for ? So that he could send Munn to the penitentiary and, 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 13 

as the price of Munn's incarceration, get his own liberty. 
That is the reason he swore it, and there is no other reason 
in the world. Is it probable a man would commit all 
these crimes for nothing ? Is it possible that he would 
hire and bribe other men to commit these crimes for 
nothing? I ask you ; I ask your common sense; I appeal 
to your brains : Is it probable that he would do all that 
absolutely for nothing ? Is it probable he would lay him 
self liable to the penitentiary every hour in the day for 
two years for nothing? There is and can be but one 
answer to such a question as that. Why, gentlemen, if 
his statement is true that he did all this for nothing, he is 
the most disinterested villain, the most self-sacrificing and 
self-denying thief of which the history of the world gives 
any record. Is it possible ? 

Is it possible, I say, that a man would make himself the 
sewer of all the official rot in this city, in which was de 
posited the excrement of frauds ? Is it possible he would 
turn himself into a scavenger cart into which should be 
thrown all the moral offal of the city of Chicago for noth 
ing ? Whoever answers that question in the affirmative is, 
in my judgment, an idiot. Nobody can. Nobody has a 
mind so constructed that it can lodge an affirmative answer 
to that question within its brain. 

What next ? He tells you that Munn was in this plot ; 
and that he, Mr. Rehm, at the same time was selling pro 
tection to these distillers. No distillers and you know it 
would have given him ten dollars a barrel unless they 
expected protection. He then was engaged in the sale of 
protection, was he not ? Did you ever know of a vender 
crying down his own wares? Did you ever hear of a 
merchant crying down the quality of the cloth he wished 
to sell ? Did you ever hear of a grocery man endeavoring 
to cry down that which he wished you to buy ? 

Jacob Rehm was selling protection at ten dollars a 



14 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

barrel, and sometimes asking twelve dollars and fifty cents. 
Was it not natural for him to endeavor to convince dis 
tillers that he had plenty of protection to sell ? Was it 
not natural for him to make the distillers believe, " If you 
will give me ten dollars a barrel you will have perfect 
protection " ? Would it be natural for him to say, " I will 
protect you for ten dollars a barrel, and yet I have none of 
the officers in my pay " ? They would say, " What kind of 
protection have you got, sir ? " Would it not be natural 
for him to make out his protection as good as he possibly 
could ? Would it not be natural for him to tell you, " I 
have got all these officers on my side, from the lowest 
gauger to the gentleman who presides over the internal 
revenue department at the city of Washington"? The 
more protection he had the more money he could get, and 
consequently it would not be natural for him to cry down 
his own protection. 

If Mr. Munn was in it, and if Mr. Munn at that time 
was the superior officer of the collector, and this man had 
protection to sell, would he not have said that Munn was 
also in the ring ? When he was trying to sell protection 
to George Burrows at ten dollars a barrel, George Burrows 
asked him if Munn was in the ring and he said he was not. 
If Mr. Munn had been why didn't he say that Munn was ? 
For the reason that that would make his protection appear 
to be of a better quality, and he could have sold it at a 
better price. But he said " no," and that they did not 
need him, because they could manage him, and fool him 
through this man Bridges, and you will recollect that 
Bridges was appointed directly by the Government and not 
by Munn ; and Bridges reported directly to the Government 
and not to Munn. He had nothing to do with him one 
way or the other, except that they were both in the Revenue 
Department. 

Now, I say if it is possible that a man can cry down Ms 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 15 

own wares that he wishes to sell, then you may say that 
the statement of Rehm is natural. 

Now, gentlemen, why should he inform Burrows that 
Munn was about to make a visit here ? In order that 
Burrows might have an opportunity to have his house put 
in order. Why should he have sent notices to other dis 
tillers that Munn was coming ? Why should he tell them 
to put their houses in order ? So as to be ready for a visit 
from Mr. Munn. It may be that the counsel for the 
Government will say, " This shows the infinite fidelity of 
this infinite rascal." 

Now, I will come to this part of my argument again, but 
the next thing I will speak of is his story, where he says 
that he actually paid the money to Munn himself, and if 
there is anything left of that after I get through with it 
you are at perfect liberty to find the defendant guilty. 
You must recollect that he had a bargain. Now, according 
to his story, he paid this money to Bridges. You must 
recollect, according to his story, that Munn at that time 
was one of the conspirators, had been receiving money a 
half of thirty-five thousand dollars or forty-five thousand 
dollars having gone into his pocket. Recollect that. He 
goes over one day to the rectifying-house of Roelle & 
Junker, and there are some barrels found, the stamps of 
which had not been scratched. Mr. Munn was assured by 
Roelle that there was no fraud. Roelle still swears that 
there was no fraud. He was afterward assured by Junker 
that there was no fraud. Junker still swears that there 
was no fraud. 

Now, what does Rehm come in to swear ? Rehm says 
that Bridges came to him and told him that Munn was 
going to make trouble going to make trouble about these 
barrels that had the stamps on that were not scratched off. 
Why did not Rehm say to him, " How is he going to make 
a fuss ? He has got twenty thousand dollars of money 



16 

already. He is in the conspiracy. He is a nice man to 
make a fuss! What is he going to make a fuss about?" 
Would it not have been just as likely that Bridges should 
have made a fuss as that Munn should have made it? 
Bridges, according to the testimony of your immaculate 
witness, was in this no more than Munn not one particle. 
And why was Munn going to make trouble ? Mr. Rehni 
has endeavored to answer that question. Mr. Rehm then 
goes to Munn, sent there by Bridges it would be very hard 
to find out why he did not give the money to Bridges, 
but he went to Munn and says : " You are going to make 
some trouble about what you found at Roelle & Junker's ? " 

" Yes." 

" Why ? " 

" Because," he says, " the men at work there the per 
sons employed there will make a fuss about it, but they 
will see it and say that it is overlooked." 

Now, that is the reason that Rehm puts in the mouth of 
the defendant. Afterward he goes himself to Junker and 
advises him to give him five hundred dollars, and Junker 
proposes one thousand dollars, and gives him one thou 
sand dollars, and then he sends for Munn and he comes to 
his office, and he hands him one thousand dollars. 

Now, gentlemen, the reason Munn gave was that the 
men there would notice it and make a disturbance about it. 

Well, then, why not pay the men ? What is the use of 
paying Munn ? If this was done to prevent the men 
working at the rectifying-house from making trouble, why 
not pay the men ? Why not pay the men who were going 
to make the trouble ? Why give an extra thousand dollars 
to a conspirator to whom you had already given twenty 
thousand dollars, and who, at that time, according to the 
testimony of Rehm, was officially rotten ? Why not give 
the money to men who were going to make the trouble ? 

And the next question is this and if you will recollect 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. IJ 

the testimony of Roelle, he swears that when the defendant 
came to the rectify ing-house, he (Roelle) was alone. He 
swears that he was alone. He swears that all the rest had 
gone to dinner, and according to Roelle's testimony there 
was nobody there but himself. Where were the men that 
were going to make this disturbance ? Where were the men 
that were going to notice this oversight ? Where were the 
men that were going to stir up difficulties at Washington 
or any other place ? According to the testimony of Roelle 
those people were at dinner, and where, gentlemen, is the 
philosophy of that lie which they have told ? Where is 
it ? Why should he have paid Munn money ? Why 
didn't he pay it to Bridges ? If it was for the purpose of 
stopping the men from making trouble, why not pay it to 
the men they wished to stop ? I ask the gentlemen to 
answer that question. I ask the gentlemen to tell us what 
men were in danger of making this trouble ? Was it the 
gauger who received six hundred dollars a month for 
being a liar and a thief ? Was it the book-keeper who, 
every report that he made, swore to a lie ? Was there any 
danger of these liars and of these thieves making a fuss on 
their own account ? Was there any danger of that gauger 
stopping his own pay ? Was there any danger of that 
book-keeper trying to throw himself out of employment? 
Was there any danger of any thief or of any conspirator 
saying anything calculated to bring this rascality to the 
surface ? If a bribed gauger would not tell it ; if a bribed 
book-keeper would not tell it, I ask the Attorney-General for 
the Government, would Munn tell it, who had received, 
according to your evidence, over twenty thousand dollars 
of fraudulent money ? Was there any danger of Munn 
turning state's evidence against himself ? Was there not 
just as much danger of Bridges making a fuss as Munn? 
Was there not, according to their testimony, the same 
danger of Rehm himself going to Washington as there 



1 8 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

would be of a bribed gauger, and of a lying book-keeper ? 
Gentlemen, your story won't hang together. There is no 
philosophy in it, and it will not fit anything except another 
lie made on purpose to fit it ; and it has got to be made by 
a better mechanic than Jacob Rehm. 

Now, then, gentlemen, what more ? The district attorney 
told you, and I was astonished when he told it I was 
astonished he said that the testimony of Jacob Rehm was 
not impeached ; that, on the contrary, it was sustained by 
these other witnesses. Had he made such a statement 
under oath I am afraid an indictment for perjury would 
lie. He said that the testimony had been sustained rather 
than impeached. How sustained? 

" Mr. Rehm, did you ever give Mr. Burroughs notice 
that Mr. Munn was coming in order that he might put his 
house in order?" 

Mr. Rehm says, " No." 

We then asked Mr. Burroughs, " Did Mr. Rehm ever 
give you such notice?" and he corroborates Mr. Rehm by 
saying "Yes," if that is what you call corroboration. 

" Did you tell Mr. Hesing that Munn was not in it ? " "I did not." 

"Mr. Hesing, did Mr. Rehm tell you that Munn was not in it." 
" He did." 

That is another instance of the attorney's idea of corrob 
oration. 

" Did you tell Hesing that Hoyt was innocent ? " "I did not." 

"Mr. Hesing, did Mr. Rehm tell you that Hoyt was innocent ?" 
"He did." 

Another corroboration. 

" Did you tell him that Munn never was in it that Munn was in 
nocent?" "No." 

We then asked him, 

"Did he tell you that?" " He did." 

We say to Burroughs, 

"In 1874, in 1873, m I 8 ? 2 , did Rehm tell you that Munn was 
not in it?" " He did." 

That is another idea I suppose of corroboration. 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 19 

Q. Mr. Rehm, how much money did the house of Dickenscn & 
Leach give you ? A. Twenty-five thousand dollars. 

Q. Will you swear they did not give you thirty ? A. I will. 
Mr. Leach on the stand : 

Q. How much money did your house give Rehm? A. Between 
forty thousand and fifty thousand dollars. 
Another instance of corroboration. 

We then called Mr. Burroughs upon the stand. He be 
longed to the same house : 

Q. How much money did you give Jacob Rehm ? A. Fifty-two 
thousand dollars. 

Another instance of corroboration. 

Q. Mr. Rehm, did Mr. Abel ever give you any money ? A. Yes, 
sir. 

Q. How many times ? A. Once. 

Q. How much ? A. Five hundred dollars. 

Q. Will you swear it was not a thousand ? A. Yes. 

Mr. Abel take the stand. 

Q. Did you ever pay Jacob Rehm any money? A. Yes. 

Q. How often ? A. Once. 

Q. How much ? A. Two thousand dollars. 

And that is another instance of the corroboration of 
Jacob Rehm. And when a man is thus corroborated, 
gentlemen, his reputation for truth and veracity " spreads 
like sunlight all over the city of Chicago." There was not 
a circumstance, there was not a statement made by Mr. 
Rehm except it was made in the presence of Bridges, who 
is in Canada; of Irwin, who is in his grave, or in the 
presence of the defendant, who stands here with his 
mouth closed not one solitary circumstance, with those 
exceptions, that has not been contradicted. Can you 
believe this man? Can you believe this man who has 
been contradicted by every one brought upon the stand ? 
Can you take his word after he has sworn as he has ? I 
tell you, gentlemen, you cannot do it, and as Judge Doo- 
little told you, if there is an infamous crime in the world, 
it is the crime of perjury. All the sneaking instincts; all 
the groveling, crawling instincts unite and blend in this 



20 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

one crime called perjury. It clothes itself, gentlemen, in 
the shining vestments of an oath in order that it may tell 
a lie. 

Perjury poisons the wells of truth, the sources of justice. 
Perjury leaps from the hedges of circumstance, from the 
walls of fact, to assassinate justice and innocence. Perjury 
is the basest and meanest and most cowardly of crimes. 
What can it do ? Perjury can change the common air that 
we breathe into the axe of an executioner. Perjury out of 
this air can forge manacles for free hands. Perjury out of 
a single word can make a hangman's rope and noose. 
Perjury out of a word can build a scaffold upon which the 
great and noble must suffer. It was told during the 
Middle Ages and in the time of the Inquisition, that the 
inquisitors had a statue of the Virgin Mary, and when a 
man was brave enough to think his own thoughts he was 
brought before this tribunal and before this beautiful 
statue, robed in gorgeous robes and decked with jewels, 
and as a punishment he was made to embrace it. The 
inquisitor touched a hidden spring; the arms of the 
statue clutched the victim and drew him to a breast filled 
with daggers. Such, gentlemen, is perjury, and if you 
take into consideration the evidence of this witness 
when you retire to the jury-room, you, in my judg 
ment, will commit an outrage. Every man here should 
spurn that man from the threshold of his conscience 
as he would a rabid cur from the threshold of his 
house. 

Is there any safety in the world if you take the 
testimony of these men, especially when character avails 
nothing ? Is there any safety in human society if you will 
take the testimony of a perjured man ? Is there any 
safety in living among mankind if this is the law, if the 
statement of a confessed conspirator makes the character of 
a great and good man worthless ? For one I had rather 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 21 

flee to the woods and live with wild beasts and savage 
nature. 

Gentlemen, I know that you will pay no attention to 
that kind of testimony. I know it. I know that you 
cannot do it. And why ? You know that that man is 
swearing a lie for the purpose of protection. You know 
that that man is swearing a lie under the smile of the 
Government of the United States. You know it. You 
know he expects a benefit from it. You know it. When 
the other witnesses, Burroughs and Hesing, that swear 
here understand that they are swearing beneath a frown. 
Understand that they know that no mercy will be extended 
to them by the attorneys that they have offended. Under 
stand that, and when you understand that a man is swear 
ing to protect himself, and when he is a man that will 
swear to a lie for money, of course he will swear to a lie to 
keep himself out of the penitentiary, or to shorten his time 
I say, when you know a man is placed in that condition, 
you have no right to give the least weight to his testimony, 
not one particle. 

What more, gentlemen. Why, they have another wit 
ness, and he has sworn nothing. He has sworn nothing 
that has anything to do with this conspiracy one way or 
the other. Nothing ! The only evidence against the de 
fendant, I tell you, is the evidence of Mr. Jacob Rehm. 

The defendant, gentlemen, was an officer of the revenue 
for several years. When he came to Chicago, in 1871, the 
district attorney said the distillers were here in full blast 
making illicit whiskey. If he had read the evidence he 
knew better ; if he had not, he had no business to make any 
statement about it. In 1871, when the defendant came 
here, according to the testimony of all these men, the dis 
tilleries were running straight, and the rascality did not 
commence until the fall of 1872, when Jacob Rehm sold 
protection to these distillers. The defendant had been 



22 

here a year before any frauds were committed. He was 
then supervisor of internal revenue up to May, 1875. 
During that time he did many official acts ; during that 
time he wrote hundreds and thousands of letters ; during 
that time he made hundreds and hundreds of visits to all 
these establishments. They have searched the records ; 
they have had every nook and cranny looked at by a 
hired detective, and all that they can possibly bring for 
ward is the beggarly account presented in this case : First, 
that there were four or five barrels of rum without the 
ten cent stamps, and that, you know, is a thing that 
ought to send a man to the penitentiary; next, twenty- 
five barrels of which the stamps had not been scratched, 
but about which there was no fraud. Ought a man to be 
sent to the penitentiary because he does not seize a house 
when there has been a technical violation without any 
fraud ? A supervisor that will do it ought to be kicked 
out of office ; he ought to be kicked out of the society of 
honest and decent men, and if this defendant was satisfied 
from the story of Roelle and Junker that there had been 
no fraud committed by leaving the stamps on the twenty- 
five barrels unscratched, and had seized that house, that 
would have been an act of meanness, an act of oppression, 
which I do not believe even a Government attorne}' would 
uphold unless he was hired in the case. Now, what next 
did he do ? The next thing he did he went to Golsen & 
Eastman. Gentlemen, I do not care to speak much of 
Golsen. If there ever was a man utterly devoid of such a 
thing as principle, if there ever was a man that would read 
the statute against stealing, and stand in perfect amaze 
ment that anybody ever thought of making such a statute, 
it certainly must be Golsen. You heard him, and he is the 
man that said he told lies in business ; he is the man that 
said he did not think it was wrong to swear lies in busi 
ness, and his business now is to keep out of the peniten- 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 23 

tiary; that is his principal business, that is one of the 
gentlemen they have hired, that is one of the gentlemen 
they have brought forward here to offend the nostrils of 
decent men. Now, then, he went to Golsen & Eastman. 
Judge Bangs told you in his speech that Golsen then and 
there explained his infamy to Munn. 

If there is anything which makes my blood boil it is to 
have the evidence misstated for the purpose of putting a 
man in the penitentiary. I never will make a misstate- 
ment to add to my reputation. 

I recollect that evidence so perfectly. I recollected it 
so clearly that it shocked me when he stated that the man 
Golsen explained all his rascality and villainy to Munn. 
Why, I never heard of such evidence. What was it ? It 
was said by Mr. Ayer in the opening that in the presence 
of Munn, Golsen said to Bridges, " It is not now all right," 
or something like that, " but I can make it right," or that 
he said in the presence of Munn, to Bridges, something 
that should have put Munn on his guard. I heard that, 
and I heard Golsen, when he came on the stand, say that 
he said that to Bridges, and you will bear me out when I 
say that I asked him in his cross-examination, " Did Munn 
hear it? Did you say it thinking that Munn did hear it ? " 
and he did not pretend any such thing. He did not pre 
tend it, and I tell you I was hurt, I was touched, I admit 
it, when Judge Bangs made the statement. I have an 
interest in this case. I am not only an attorney in this 
case, but, gentlemen, I am proud to say I am the defend 
ant's friend. I am more than his attorney ; I am his friend, 
and when an attorney makes a statement like that I must 
say it shocks me. Golsen did not swear that he explained 
his villainy to Munn not a word of that kind or character. 
On the contrary he simply said he told this to Bridges, not 
to Munn, and that Munn did not hear it. 

What more ? Col. Eastman was there at the same time. 



24 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

Col. Eastman says he did everything he could to impress 
upon Mr. Munn that it was an honest transaction. What 
more ? Then he went through the rectify ing-house like 
an honest man. How did he act ? Like an honest man. 
Did he act like somebody trying to cover up a fraud ? No, 
he acted like an honest man, and I tell you up to that time 
Mr. Eastman had borne a good reputation a good 
character in the state of Illinois. Munn believed what he 
said. He believed there had been an accident. Munn 
believed they made the charge in the books not for the 
purpose of covering up a fraud, but for the purpose of 
making the books agree with the facts. So much for that. 

I do not recollect any others. I do not recollect any 
others that amount to anything that can throw the 
slightest suspicion on this defendant. If he were upon 
trial now for failing to make a report ; if he were on trial 
now for malfeasance or non-feasance or negligence as an 
officer, it would be proper to bring all these things before 
this jury, but that is not the case. He is here for entering 
into a conspiracy to defraud the Government, and these 
things that they have shown outside, and it is perfectly 
amazing to me they have not shown more, it is perfectly 
amazing to me that a man could be in that position the 
years he was without making more mistakes I say, all they 
prove in the world is (give them their very worst construc 
tion), that he was guilty of some negligence as an officer, 
but they do not attempt to prove that he was in a con 
spiracy with Mr. Jacob Rehm to steal. 

The next point, gentlemen, to which I wish to call your 
attention is the testimony of Mr. Rehm before the grand 
jury. You recollect when we put on Mr. Ward to show 
what Rehm testified to before the grand jury, that Mr. Ayer 
suggested that we had better have the notes. I saw then 
that he was extremely anxious for Schlichter to get on the 
stand. Then we introduced Mr. Oleson, and he still spoke 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 25 

about having the notes. I understood that it was a part 
of his case to have Schlichter brought on the stand in 
some way. Now, then, it does not make any difference to 
me whether Schlichter swore to the truth or not. Not a 
particle, not a particle, but I think he did. But if he did 
swear a lie, and he will swear a lie every chance he gets, in 
the course of time he will get such a character and such a 
reputation that a district attorney of the United States will 
stand up and say : " Schlichter's reputation is good ; it 
spreads like sunlight all over the city of Chicago." Now, 
then, you have been told by Judge Doolittle all the men 
who swore that he did swear before the grand jury, that he 
did not know of any crookedness. You have heard the 
testimony of men who swear that he did swear before the 
grand jury that he knew of no fraud. If he did so swear 
he perjured himself or he has perjured himself now. But 
what more ? Whether he swore that or not, he swore this 
according to their own statements : 

Q. At the time you burned your books had you any knowledge 
that they contained any evidence of fraud against the Government ? 
A. No, sir. 

Now, he knew the distillers used a certain amount of 
malt to make a certain amount of high- wines, and he knew 
the more malt they used the more high-wines they would 
have to account for, and if they bought twice as much 
malt as was necessary to make the whiskey upon which 
they paid the tax, he knew that that was evidence that 
they had been running without paying the tax. If it takes 
a certain amount of malt for a gallon of high-wines, and 
his books would show they had used twice as much malt 
as they had paid taxes, according to gallons, then he did 
know that his books did contain evidence showing that 
they had committed fraud. And when he said his books 
did not, he told what he knew was a deliberate lie. What 
more does he say ? He says these books were burned up 



26 

about the first of May just to get them out of the way, 
for no earthly object except simply to get them out of the 
way, and he swears that he sold to nearly all these dis 
tillers malt, and he knew that the amount of malt sold to 
each of these distilleries would determine the amount of 
whiskey they had made, that is, not into a barrel or into a 
gallon, but approximately, and he knew the more malt 
they used the more tax they would have to show that they 
had paid. And he knew that his books would be evidence 
against every distiller in the city. He knew that, and yet 
he swears here, squarely and fairly, that at the time he 
burned his books he did not know that they were of any 
value as evidence against these distillers. 

Now, gentlemen, I want to call your attention to another 
thing. When I asked him, when he was called here on 
the stand, if he was not asked about crookedness, whether 
he was not asked about fraud, at first he stumbled into 
telling the truth, as far as that was concerned, as far as 
being asked was concerned, and then told a lie as to how 
he answered it. Now, let me read it to you ; you may have 
forgotten it. There is nothing like having these things 
printed : 

Q. Were you sworn before that grand jury by anybody ? A. Yes, 
sir. 

Q. Were you asked any question about this whiskey business? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were you asked by one of the grand jurors whether you knew 
of any illicit whiskey being made in this city by any of those distil 
leries? A. No, sir. 

Q. I ask you in regard to your answer to that, if you did not say 
you did not ? A. I did not. 

Q. What did you say? A. The question was not asked in that 
way. 

Q. Well, wait until I ask you, and then you can tell. Were you 
not asked if you knew of any crookedness about whiskey, and didn't 
you reply " No " ? A. No ; I answered "Yes." 

There is his testimony. He was afraid then that he was 
caught, and he was going to swear deliberately that he 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 27 

swore before the grand jury, that he did know of crook 
edness. Then he changed his idea, and says afterward 
that it is about the one hundred and fifty barrels. He 
says now, " Put your question." Then I put this question 
" Put your question." [Question repeated.] "A. The 
question was not put to me in that way." 

Now, he gets out of it and says it was the one hundred 
and fifty barrels he talked about ; but I asked him then if 
he was not asked if he did not know about any crookedness 
here and how he answered it, and he says that he answered 
it " Yes." That is, before he found out that it was neces 
sary to change his answer or to change his mind upon that 
question. That is what he says. And it is utterly impos 
sible, gentlemen, to get out of the fact that he did, before 
that grand jury, swear that he knew of no crookedness. 
You can not get out upon Mr. Roelle's testimony. You 
can not get out upon the idea that Schlichter put it in. 
Schlichter did not put it into the memory of the old man 
Samson. Schlichter did not write it in the memory of Mr. 
Hoag. Schlichter did not write it in the consciousness of 
Mr. Oleson. Schlichter did not write it in short-hand in 
the head of J. D. Ward. Schlichter, I tell you, by his 
short-hand necromancy, has not changed six or seven men 
into liars whether he put that in the second line from the 
top or not. He cannot do that with his short-hand, 
gentlemen. He could not make old Mr. Samson come 
here and say, " I asked that question myself ; I thought 
that when he was there he was the head centre of all 
the rascality. And so just before he went out I put one of 
those general, pinching questions as to whether he knew 
anything. It was a kind of conscience scraper." The old 
man put that question just as these witnesses were going 
out : " Do you know anything about any fraud ? Do you 
know anything about any crookedness ? " It was a kind 
of a last question that would cover the case, and the old 



28 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

man recollects that he put it to Jacob Rehm and he recol 
lects why he put it to him, because he believed at that 
time that he was the head centre of the villainy. Mr. 
Hoag says the same thing. Mr. Hoag says that he looked 
upon him as the great rascal in the business ; and he recol 
lects distinctly that he asked him that question ; and he 
recollects as distinctly how he answered it. J. D. Ward 
was the attorney of the United States, and he swears to it 
that he recollects it perfectly. Oleson was an attorney of 
the United States. He says that he recollects it perfectly. 
And yet is this all to be accounted for, gentlemen, by say 
ing that Mr. Schlichter inserted it in his notes and that all 
these other gentlemen are mistaken ? The fact is, gentle 
men, that Mr. Rehm, when he was there, had not made up 
his mind to vomit ; he had not yet made up his mind that 
he could make a bargain with the United States to get out 
of punishment. He did not know at that time that he 
need not go to the penitentiary if he would furnish a sub 
stitute. He did not know, gentlemen, at that time that he 
could have any understanding with anybody ; if he would 
bring better blood than his they would deal lightly with 
him. He did not know at that time that two owls could 
be traded off for an eagle. He did not know at that time 
that two snakes could be traded off for a decent man. As 
soon as he found that out, then, instead of saying that he 
did not know anything about any crookedness ; instead of 
saying that he did not know anything about any fraud, he 
said, gentlemen, " I know all about it. I know all of 
them ; every one of them." 

Now, gentlemen, I want you to put against that man's 
testimony the lies he swore to himself. I want you to put 
against that man's testimony the improbability that he 
would commit numberless crimes for nothing. I want you 
to put against that man's testimony the testimony of every 
one who has contradicted and disputed him. I want you 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 29 

to put against that man's testimony the idea and the fact 
that he warned these other men against the approach of 
Munn. I want you to put against that man's testimony all 
the circumstances of the lies he has sworn ; and I want 
you, in addition to that, to put against that man's testi 
mony the evidence of this defendant. 

You have been told by the district attorney and if I 
have said anything too strong in the warmth of this dis 
cussion I beg his pardon. I have known Judge Bangs a 
long time, I have been his friend, I respect him ; but I 
must say I felt a little outraged at what he said, because 
he said he had sympathy with this defendant. He got up 
here and said that the defendant bore a most excellent 
reputation. He got up and said that he sympathized with 
him, and all at once I saw his sympathy was a cloak 
under which he concealed a dagger to stab him. Now, 
then, he says good character is nothing. Good character 
is nothing ! Good character, gentlemen, is not made in a 
day. It is the work of a life. The walls of that grand 
edifice called a good character have to be worked at 
during life. All the good deeds, all the good words, 
everything right and true and honest that he does, goes 
into this edifice, and it is domed and pinnacled with lofty 
aspirations and grand ambitions. It is not made in a day, 
neither can it be crumbled into blackened dust by a word 
from the putrid mouth of a perjurer. Let these snakes 
writhe and hiss about it. Let the bats fly in at its windows 
if they can. They cannot destroy it ; but above them all 
rises the grand dome of a good character, not with the 
bats and snakes, but up, gentlemen, with eagles in the 
sunlight. They cannot prevail against a good character. 
Is it worth anything? If ever I am indicted for any 
offence and stand before a jury, I hope that I shall be able 
to prove as unsullied a reputation as Daniel W. Munn has 
proved. And when I read those letters, not only saying 



3O ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

that his character was good, but adding " above reproach," 
it thrilled me and I thought to myself then, " if ever you 
get in trouble will anybody certify as splendidly and as 
grandly to your reputation ? " There is not a man of this 
jury that can prove a better reputation. There is not a 
judge on the bench in the United States that can prove a 
better reputation. There never was and there never will 
be an attorney at this bar that can prove a better reputa 
tion. There is not one in this audience that can prove a 
better reputation. And yet we are told that that splendid 
fabric called a good character cannot stand for a moment 
against a word from a gratuitous villain not one moment. 
Such, gentlemen, is not the law of this country. Such, 
gentlemen, never will be the law of this land or of any 
other. I deny it, and I hurl it back with scorn. A good 
character will stand against the testimony of all the thieves 
on earth. A good character, like a Gibraltar, will stand 
against the testimony of all the rascals in the universe, no 
matter how they assail it. It will stand, and it will stand 
firmer and grander the more it is assaulted. What is the 
use of doing honestly ? What is the use of working and 
toiling ? What is the use of taking care of your wife and 
your children ? Where is the use, I say, of being honest 
in your business ? What is the use of always paying your 
debts as you agree? What is the use of living for others? 
Character is made of duty and love and sympathy, and, 
above all, of living and working for others. What is the 
use of being true to principle ? What is the use of taking 
a sublime stand in favor of the right with the world 
against you ? What is the use of being true to yourself ? 
What is the use, I say, if all this character, if all this 
noble action, if all this efflorescence of soul can be blasted 
and blown from the world simply by a word from the 
mouth of a confessed felon ? And yet we are assured here 
in this august tribunal, in a Federal court of the United 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. ,- 

States, where the defendant stands under the protectioLj^ 
the Constitution of his country, that his character is absc 
lutely worthless. 

They say, " Why don't you bring somebody to impeach 
Mr. Jacob Rehm ? " Why ? because he has impeached 
himself. 

To impeach a man is the last method. If he tells an 
improbable story, that impeaches him. If he tells an un 
natural story, that impeaches him. If you prove he has 
sworn a different way, that impeaches him. If you show 
he has stated a different way, that impeaches him. What 
is the use of impeaching him any more ? That would be a 
waste of time. 

Now, gentlemen, I say to you, and I say to you once for 
all, I want you to get out of your minds and out of your 
hearts any prejudice against this man on account of these 
times. I understand now that in every man's pathway 
hiss and writhe the serpents of suspicion. I understand 
now that every man in high place can be pointed at with 
the dirty finger of a scurvy rascal. I understand that. I 
understand that no matter how high his position is, that 
any man, no matter how low, how leprous he may be, 
what a cancerous heart he may have, he can point his 
finger at the man high up on the ladder of fame, and the 
man has to come down and explain to the wretched villain. 
I understand that; but these prejudices I want out of 
your mind. I want you to try this case according to the 
evidence and nothing else. I want you to say whether 
you believe the testimony of these conspirators and 
scoundrels. I want you to say whether you are going to 
take the testimony of that man, and if you bring in a ver 
dict of guilty I want you to be able to defend yourselves 
when you go to the defendant and tell him : " We found 
you guilty upon a man's testimony who admitted that he 
was a thief : who admitted that he was a perjurer ; who ad- 



32 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

mitted that he hired others to swear lies, and who com 
mitted crimes without number year after year." I want 
you to say whether that is an excuse to give to him. Is 
it an excuse to give to his pallid, invalid wife ? Is it an 
excuse to give to his father eighty years old, trembling 
upon the verge of the grave : " I sent your son to the 
penitentiary upon the evidence of a convicted thief " ? I 
say is it an excuse to give to his weeping wife? Is it an 
excuse to give to his child: "I sent your father to the 
penitentiary upon the evidence of Jacob Rehm"? There 
is not one of you can go to the child, or to the sick wife, 
or to the old man, or to the defendant himself, and without 
the blush of shame say : " I sent you to the penitentiary 
upon the evidence of Jacob Rehm." You cannot do it. 
It is not in human nature to do it. 

Now, gentlemen, there is one other thing I want to say. 
Suspicion is not evidence. Suspicious circumstances are 
not evidence. All the suspicion in the world, all the sus 
picious circumstances in the world, amount not to evidence. 
I want to say one more thing. They say that the testi 
mony of a thief ought to be corroborated. By whom ? 
another thief ? No. Because that other thief wants cor- 
roboration, and that other thief would want corroboration, 
and so on until thieves ran out, which I think would be a 
long time in this particular community at this particular 
time. Understand that whatever one thief swears, that it 
is not corroborated because another thief swears to the 
same thing, and upon the point upon which Judge Doo- 
little dwelt so splendidly he must be corroborated upon the 
exact point. For instance, Mr. Munn went to his house, 
Mr. Munn went to his office, and another man says, I saw 
him there. That is not corroboration. He must be cor 
roborated in the fact that he gave him the money, not that 
Munn went to his house not that he had an opportunity 
to give him the money not that he was there, but he 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL 33 

must be corroborated as to the exact, identical point l.hat 
makes the guilt. 

Now, gentlemen, I am going to leave this case w ith you. 
I feel a great interest in it. The defendant feels an in 
finite interest in it, infinite, I tell you. It is all he has on 
earth, all he has is with you. You are going to take his 
hopes ; you are going to take his aspirations ; you are 
going to take his ambition ; you are going to take his 
family ; you are going to take his child ; you are going to 
take everything he has in this world into your power. It 
is a fearful thing to take this responsibility. I know it. 
But you are going to take it his future, everything he 
has dreamed and hoped for, everything that he has ex 
pected to attain his character, everything he has that is 
dear to him, and you are going to say " Not guilty," or 
you are going to cover him with the mantle of infamy and 
shame forever ; you are going to disgrace his blood ; you 
are going to bring those that love him down with sorrow 
to their graves ; you are either going to do that or you are 
going to say, " We will not believe the testimony of self- 
convicted robbers and thieves." And, gentlemen, I ask 
you, I implore you, I beseech you, more than that, I 
demand of you that you find in this case a verdict of " Not 
guilty." Put yourself in his place. Do you want to be 
convicted on that kind of testimony ? Do you want to 
go to the penitentiary with that kind of witnesses against 
you ? Do you want to be locked up on that kind of testi 
mony? Do you want to be separated from your wife or 
your child on that kind of evidence ? Do you want to be 
rendered infamous during your life upon the testimony 
of such men as Golsen and Conklin and Rehm ? Do you ? 
Do you ? Do you ? Does any man in the world imagine 
that twelve honest men can be found that can rob another 
of his citizenship, of his honor, of his character, of his 
home, and of his entire fortune, simply upon the testimony 



34 

of such vScoundrels ? No, gentlemen. For myself, for this 
defendant, I have no fear. All I ask is that you will give 
to this evidence the weight that it deserves. All I ask of 
the prosecuting attorney in this case is that he do his duty. 
All I ask of him is to state just as nearly as he can, as I 
have no doubt he will, the evidence in the case. All I ask 
of him is that he give to all these circumstances their due 
weight, and no more. I ask him to fight for justice and 
not for his reputation. I ask him to fight for the honor of 
the Government. I ask him to fight for the complete 
doing of justice, if he can, but I hope he will leave out of 
the case all idea that he must win a case or that I must 
lose a case. We are contending for too great a stake. 
Personally, I care nothing about it, whether I make or lose 
what you please to call reputation in this affair. I care 
everything for my client. I care everything for his honor, 
and more than that, gentlemen, I love the United States of 
America. I love this Government, I love this form of 
government, and I do not want to see the sources of 
government poisoned. I do not want to see a state of 
things in the United States of America whereby a man can 
be consigned to a dungeon upon the testimony of a robber 
and thief, simply upon a political issue, simply by the 
testimony of some man who wishes to purchase immunity 
at the price of another's liberty and honor. 

One more point, and I have done. I had forgotten it, or 
I should have mentioned it before. They have appealed 
to you all along to say that the fact that highwines were 
so cheap during all this time put Mr. Munn upon his in 
formation, so to speak, that there were frauds. Let me 
take those books and let us see. On the 6th day of June, 
1874, the tax on spirits was seventy cents, and the price 
was ninety-four cents. That made them get twenty-four 
cents a gallon for the whiskey. Understand, the tax was 
seventy, the price was ninety-four. That made them get 



ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 35 

twenty-four cents for the whiskey. Now, then, on the loth 
of June it was ninety-six and a half cents. That made 
twenty-six and a half for the whiskey. On the loth of 
June, 1874, twenty-six and a half they got for the whiskey. 
February n, 1874, ninety -six cents, which made twenty- 
six cents ; and so it went on in that way, until what ? Until 
the tax was raised from seventy cents to ninety cents, and 
what is it now ? The tax on whiskey, gentlemen, is ninety 
cents, and the price on the loth day of May, 1876, is one 
dollar and seven cents ; so that the price of whiskey now 
is only seventeen cents above the tax, and at the time that 
Mr. Munn ought to have known that everybody was a 
thief and rascal, the price was twenty-six cents above the 
tax, ten cents more than now. From these figures, gentle 
men, you will see it, and how high did it go ? The day 
Mr. Munn was turned out of office gentlemen, on the 
tenth day of May, 1875, the tax then being ninety cents, 
whiskey was worth one dollar and fifteen cents. The day 
he was turned out. It was nine cents more than it is to 
day. You are welcome to all you can make out of that ar 
gument. It was worth nine cents more a gallon above the 
tax the day he was turned out than it is to-day, and if Mr. 
Munn was bound to take judicial notice that there was 
nothing but frauds in the district, and every distillery was 
running crooked, I say that the officers of the Government 
are bound to take that notice to-day, and you must recol 
lect, gentlemen, that it was admitted in this case that there 
were frauds all over the country, that there were distilleries 
running in St. Louis, in San Francisco, in Milwaukee, in 
Peoria or Pekin, in Peoria, I believe, in my town, not a 
sound has been heard, and not a solitary man, I believe, 
charged with fraud in St. Louis, in Louisville, in Cin 
cinnati, in all these towns. Now, where was the whiskey 
being made that was crooked ? Nobody could tell. If 
there was a vast amount being made in Cincinnati it would 



36 ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE MUNN TRIAL. 

lessen the price in Chicago, no matter whether the Chicago 
distillers were running honestly or not. If there was a 
vast amount being made in St. Louis it would lessen the 
price, no matter whether the other distilleries were running 
honestly or not, conseqently it was impossible for the 
supervisor to tell it. 

There is another thing I forgot. During all the time 
Jacob Rehm was doing this gratuitous rascality he was one 
of the bondsmen on the official bond of Hoyt. He was not 
only helping Hoyt steal and giving him all the money, but 
he was making himself responsible for the money he stole, 
and he did not charge any commission on it. He did not 
charge for any shrinkage or shortage or anything in the 
world, but made himself liable for the uttermost farthing. 
He was on the bond of Collector Irwin, called the stamp 
bond, and so do not forget that he did not only not 
take any money, but he went on the acknowledgments 
of the thieves that stole it. He not only did not take 
any himself, but he made himself liable as a bondsman 
for what he gave to them. Do not forget these things. 

Now, gentlemen, I believe I have said about all I wish to 
say to you; the rest is for you. You must take the case, 
and, as I said, you do not want to go off on any prejudice 
against the kind or the character of the case. You do not 
want to go off on the idea that the air is full of rascality 
because some of us are to be tried next. We don't know. 
Let us try this case fairly and squarely on the evidence, 
and the next time I meet you, gentlemen, every one of you 
will be glad that you found this defendant not guilty, as 
you cannot avoid doing. 

[The Jury rendered a verdict of " Not Guilty."] 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN 
FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 



CLOSING ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE FIRST 
STAR ROUTE TRIAL.* 

MAY it please the Court and gentlemen of the jury: 
Let us understand each other at the very threshold. 
For one I am as much opposed to official dishonesty as any 
man in this world. The taxes in this country are paid by 
labor and by industry, and they should be collected and 
disbursed by integrity. The man that is untrue to his 
official oath, the man that is untrue to the position the 
people have honored him with, ought to be punished. I 
have not one word to say in defence of any man who I 
believe has robbed the Treasury of the United States. I 
want it understood in the first place that we are not de 
fending ; that we are not excusing ; that we are not en 
deavoring to palliate in the slightest degree dishonesty in 
any Government official. I will go still further : I will not 
defend any citizen who has committed what I believe to be 
a fraud upon the Treasury of this Government. Let us 
understand each other at the commencement. 

You have been told that we are a demoralized people ; 
that the tide of dishonesty is rising ready to sweep from 

* The most characteristic feature of the Star-route trial, which has been the central 
point of interest in our city for the past three months, was the marvelously power 
ful speech of Colonel Robert Q. Ingersoll before the jury and the judge last week. 

People who knew this gifted gentleman only superficially, had supposed that he 
was merely superficial as a lawyer. While acknowledging his remarkable ability 
as an orator and his vast accomplishments as a speaker, they doubted the depth of 
his power. They heard him, and the doubt ceased. It can be said of Ingersoll, as 
was written of Castelar, that his eloquent utterances are as the finely-fashioned 
ornamental designs upon the Damascus blade the blade cuts as keenly and the 
embellishments beautify without retarding its power. 

The following is Colonel Ingersoll's speech. Its swift incisiveness, keen and 
comprehensive logic and apt deductions from proper premises are only equaled by 
the grand manner of its delivery, and under the circumstances incidental to the 
ease and the routes to be traversed. by its expedition of action and brevity. Wash 
ington, D. C. , The Capital, Sept. 16th, 1888. (89; 



4O CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

one shore of our country to the other. You have been 
appealed to to find innocent men guilty in order that that 
tide may be successfully resisted. You have been told 
and I have heard the story a thousand times that this 
country was demoralized by what the gentlemen are 
pleased to call the war, and that owing to the demoraliza 
tion of the war it is necessary to make an example of 
somebody that the country may take finally the road to 
honesty. We were in a war lasting four years, but I take 
this occasion to deny that that war demoralized the people 
of the United States. Whoever fights for the right, or 
whoever fights for what he believes to be right, does not 
demoralize himself. He ennobles himself. The war 
through which we passed did not demoralize the people. 
It was not a demoralization ; it was a reformation. It was 
a period of moral enthusiasm, during which the people of 
the United States became a thousand times grander and 
nobler than they had ever been before. The effect of that 
war has been good, and only good. We were not demoral 
ized by it. When we broke the shackles from four 
millions of men, women and children it did not demoralize 
us. When we changed the hut of the slave into the castle 
of the freeman it did not demoralize us. When we put the 
protecting arm of the law about that hut and the flag of 
this nation above it, it was not very demoralizing. When 
we stopped stealing babes the country did not suddenly 
become corrupted. That war was the noblest affirmation 
of humanity in the history of this world. We are a 
greater people, we are a grander people, than we were 
before that war. That war repealed statutes that had been 
made by robbery and theft. It made this country the 
home of MAN. We were not demoralized. 

There is another thing you have been told in order that 
you might find somebody guilty. You have been told that 
our country is distinguished among the nations of the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 4! 

world only for corruption. That is what you have been 
told. I care not who said it first. It makes no difference 
to me that it was quoted from a Republican Senator. I 
deny it. This country is not distinguished for corruption. 
No true patriot believes it. This country is distinguished 
for something else. The credit of the United States is 
perfect. Its bonds are the highest in the world. Its 
promise is absolute pure gold. Is that the result of being 
distinguished for corruption ? I have heard that nonsense, 
that intellectual rot all my life, that the people used to be 
honest, but at present they are exceedingly bad. It is the 
capital stock of every prosecuting lawyer ; but in it there is 
not one word of truth. Is this country distinguished only 
for its corruption throughout Europe? No. It is re 
spected by every prince and by every king ; it is loved by 
every peasant. Is it because we have such a reputation 
for corruption that a million people from foreign lands 
sought homes under our flag last year? Is corruption all 
we are distinguished for? Is it because we are a nation of 
rascals that the word America sheds light in every hut and 
in every tenement in Europe ? Is it because we are dis 
tinguished for corruption that that one word, America, is 
the dawn of a career to every poor man in the Old World ? 
I always supposed that we were distinguished for free 
schools, for free speech, for just laws ; not for corruption. 
A country covered with schoolhouses, where the chil 
dren of the poor are put upon an exact equality with 
those of the rich, is not distinguished for corruption. And 
yet in the name of this universal corruption you are ap 
pealed to to become also torrupt. This nation is substanti 
ally a hundred years old, and to-day the assessed property 
of the United States is valued at $50,000,000,000. Is 
that the result of corruption, or is it the result of labor, of 
integrity and of virtue ? I deny that my country is dis 
tinguished for corruption. I assert that it rises above the 



42 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

other nations distinguished for humanity as high as 
Chimborazo above the plains. Never will I put a stain 
upon the forehead of my country in order that I may win 
some case, and in order that I may consign some honest 
man to the penitentiary. I stand here to deny that this is 
a corrupt country. Let me say that the only tribute that I 
ever heard paid to corruption was indirectly paid by Mr. 
Merrick himself. He told you that official corruption de 
stroyed the French Empire, and upon the ruins of that 
empire arose the French Republic. He makes official cor 
ruption the father of French liberty. If it works that way 
I hope they will have it in every monarchy on the globe. 
Napoleon stole something besides money ; he stole liberty, 
and the French people finally got to that condition of mind 
where they preferred to be trampled on by Germany rather 
than to have their liberty devoured by Napoleon. From 
that splendid sentiment sprang the French Republic. This 
country is the land not of slavery, but of liberty, not of 
unpaid toil, but of successful industry. There is not a 
poor man to-day in all Europe or a poor boy who does not 
think about America. I recollect one time in Ireland that 
I met with a little fellow about ten years old with a couple 
of rags for pantaloons and a string for a suspender. I 
said, "My little man, what are you going to do when you 
grow up?" "Going to America" It is the dream of 
every peasant in Germany. He will go to America ; not 
because it is the land of corruption, but because it is the 
land of plenty, the land of free schools, the land where 
humanity is respected. 

There is another thing about this country. We have a 
king here, and that king is the law. That king is the 
legally expressed will of a majority, and that law is your 
sovereign and mine. You have no right to violate one law 
to carry out another. We all stand equal before that law, 
and the law must be upheld as an entirety, and in no other 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 43 

way. If in this case you believe these defendants beyond 
a doubt to be guilty, it is your duty to find them so, and 
you must find them so in order to preserve your own re 
spect. I do not agree with this prosecution in the idea 
that the perpetuity of the Republic depends upon this 
verdict. Decide as badly as you please, as horribly as you 
can, the Republic will stand. The Republic will stand in 
spite of this verdict, and the Republic will stand until 
people lose confidence in verdicts until they lose confi 
dence in legal redress. When the time comes that we have 
no confidence in courts and no confidence in juries, then 
the great temple will lean to its fall, and not until then. 
As long as we can get redress in the courts, as long as the 
laws shall be honestly administered, as long as honesty and 
intelligence sit upon the bench, as long as intelligence 
sits in the chairs of jurors, this country will stand, the law 
will be enforced and the law will be respected. But so far 
as my clients are concerned, everything they have, every 
thing they love, everything for which they hope, home, 
friends, wife, children, and that priceless something called 
reputation, without which a man is simply living clay, 
everything they have is at stake, and everything depends 
upon your verdict. I want you to understand that every 
thing depends upon your decision, and yet my clients with 
their world at stake, home, everything, everything, ask only 
at your hands the mercy of an honest verdict according to 
the evidence and according to the law. That is all we ask, 
and that we expect. By an honest verdict I mean a ver 
dict in accordance with the testimony and in accordance 
with the law, a verdict that is a true and honest transcript 
of each juror's mind, a verdict that is the honest result of 
this evidence. Whoever takes into consideration the 
desire, or the supposed desire, of the outside public is 
bribed. Whoever finds a verdict to please power, whoever 
violates his conscience that he may be in accord, or in sup- 



44 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

posed accord, with an administration or with the Govern 
ment, is bribed. Whoever finds a verdict that he may 
increase his own reputation is bribed. Whoever finds a 
verdict for fear he will lose his reputation is bribed. Who 
ever bends to the public judgment, whoever bows before 
the public press, is bribed. 

Fear, prejudice, malice, and the love of approbation 
bribe a thousand men where gold bribes one. An honest 
verdict is the result not of fear, but of courage; not of 
prejudice, but of candor; not of malice, but of kindness. 
Above all, it is the result of a love of justice. Allow me to 
say right here that I believe every solitary man on this 
jury wishes to give a verdict exactly in accordance with 
this testimony and exactly in accordance with the law. 
Every man on this jury wishes to preserve his own man 
hood. Every man on this jury wishes to give an honest 
verdict. There are no words sufficiently base to describe a 
man who will knowingly give a dishonest verdict. I be 
lieve every man upon this jury to be absolutely honest in 
this case. The mind of every juror, like the needle to the 
pole, should be governed simply by the evidence. That 
needle is not disturbed by wind or wave, and the mind of 
the honest juror never should be disturbed by clamor, nor 
by prejudice, nor by suspicion. Your minds should not be 
affected by the fume, by the froth, by the fiction, or by the 
fury of this prosecution. You should pay attention 
simply to the evidence, and to use the language of one of 
my clients, you should be governed by the frozen facts. 
That is all you have any right to think of and all you have 
any right to examine. 

Having now said thus much about the duties of jurors, 
let me say one word about the duties of lawyers. I believe 
it is the duty of a lawyer, no matter whether prosecuting 
or defending, to make the testimony as clear as he can. If 
there is anything contradictory it is his business if he 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 45 

possibly can to make it clear. If there is any question 
of law about which there is a doubt, it is his right and it is 
his duty to give to the court the result of his study and of 
his thoughts, for the purpose of enlightening the court 
upon that particular branch of law. No matter if he may 
believe the court understands it, if there is the slightest 
fear that the court does not or has forgotten it, it is his 
duty to bring the attention of the court to that law. It is 
not his duty to abuse anybody. It is not my duty to abuse 
anybody. There is no logic in abuse; not the slightest; 
and when a lawyer, under the pretext of explaining the 
evidence to the jury, calls a defendant a thief and a robber, 
he steps beyond the line of duty and, in my judgment, 
beyond the line of his privilege. What light does that 
throw upon the case ? In his effort to explain the law to 
the court what cloud does it remove from the intellectual 
horizon of his honor for the attorney to call the defendant 
a robber, a thief, or a pickpocket ? I shall in this case give 
you what I believe to be the facts. I shall call your atten 
tion to the testimony. I shall endeavor to throw what 
light I am capable of throwing upon this entire question. 
I shall not deal in personalities. They are beneath me. I 
shall not deal in epithets. Nobody worth convincing can 
be convinced in that way. Now, let us see what the law 
is, and let us see what our facts are. In the beginning of 
this dusty branch I shall ask the pardon of every juror in 
advance for going over these facts once again. You see 
they strike every man in a peculiar way. No two minds 
are exactly alike. No pair of eyes distinguish exactly the 
same object or the same peculiarities of the objects. This 
is an indictment under section 5440 of the Revised Statutes, 
and there must not only be a conspiracy to defraud, but 
there must be an overt act done in pursuance of that con 
spiracy for the purpose of effecting the object of it. Now, 
then, how must these overt acts be stated in this indict- 



46 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

ment ? Is the overt act a part of the crime, and must it be 
described with the same particularity that you describe the 
offence ? Which of the overt acts set out in this indict 
ment is the overt act depended upon, together with the act 
of conspiring, to make this offence ? I hold, may it please 
your Honor, that every overt act set out in the indictment 
must be proved exactly as it is alleged, no matter whether 
the description was necessary to be put in the indictment 
or not. No matter how foolish, how unnecessary the de 
scription, it must be substantiated, and it must be proven 
precisely as it is charged. No matter whether the particu 
lar thing described is of importance or not, no matter how 
infinitely unnecessary it was to speak of it, still, if it is a 
matter of description, it must be proven precisely as it is 
charged. Upon that subject I wish to call the attention of 
the Court to some authorities, and it will take me but a few 
moments. I will call the attention of the Court first to the 
case of the State against Noble, 15 Maine, 476. Here a 
man was indicted for fraudulently and willfully taking 
from the river and converting to his own use certain logs. 
These logs were described as marked " W " with a cross, 
and " H " with another cross, and with a girdle. Now, it 
seems that a part of this mark was not found, according to 
the testimony upon the logs taken : 

"The description of these logs in the indictment is the only way 
the logs could be distinguished and could not be rejected as surplus 
age. It has been settled that if a man be indicted for stealing a black 
horse, and the evidence be that he stole a white one, he cannot be 
convicted. The description of a log by the mark is more essential 
than that of a horse by its color. If it was not necessary to describe 
the log so particularly by the mark, yet so having stated it, there can 
be no conviction without proof of it." 

Now, the court, in deciding this, says : 

" It may be regarded as a general rule, both in criminal prosecu 
tions and in civil actions, that an unnecessary averment may be 
rejected where enough remains to show that an offence has been 
committed, or that a cause of action exists. In Ricketts vs. Solway, 
2 Barn., & Aid., 360, Abbott, C. J., says: 'There is one exception, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 47 

however, to this rule, which is, where the allegation contains matter 
of description. Then, if the proof given be different from the state 
ment, the variance is fatal.' As an illustration of this exception, 
Starkie puts the case of a man charged with stealing a black horse. 
The allegation of color is unnecessary, yet as it is descriptive of that, 
which is the subject-matter of the charge, it cannot be rejected as 
surplusage, and the man convicted of stealing a white horse. The 
color is not essential to the offence of larceny, but it is made material 
to fix the identity of that, which the accused is charged with stealing. 
3 Stark., 1531. 

" In the case before us the subject-matter is a pine log marked in a 
particular manner described. The marks determine the identity, and 
are, therefore, matter purely of description. It would not be easy to 
adduce a stronger case of this character. It' might have been 
sufficient to have stated that the defendant took a log merely, in the 
words of the statute. But under the charge of taking a pine log we 
are quite clear that the defendant could not be convicted of taking an 
oak or a birch log. The offence would be the same ; but the charge 
to which the party was called to answer, and which it was incumbent 
on him to meet, is for taking a log of an entirely different description. 
The kind of timber and the artificial marks by which it was dis 
tinguished are descriptive parts of the subject-matter of the charge 
which cannot be disregarded, although they may have been unneces 
sarily introduced. The log proved to have been taken was a differ 
ent one from that charged in the indictment ; and the defendant 
could be legally called upon to answer only for taking the log there 
described. In our judgment, therefore, the jury were erroneously 
instructed that the marks might be rejected as surplusage; and the 
exceptions are accordingly sustained." 

I also cite the case of the State against Clark, 3 Foster, 
New Hampshire, 429 : 

"Indictment for fraudulently altering the assignment of a mort 
gage. The indictment set forth the mortgage, and also the assign 
ment, as it was alleged to have been originally made from Miles 
Burnham to Noah Clark, the respondent ; and alleged that the assign 
ment was signed, sealed, delivered, witnessed by two witnesses, and 
duly and legally recorded at length, in the registry of deeds of 
Rockingham county, on the i8th of September, 1844. It then 
alleged that this assignment was fraudulently altered on the 28th of 
June, 1844, by inserting the letter ' S ' in two places, between the 
words 'Noah' and 'Clark,' so that the assignment originally made 
to Noah Clark, after the alteration appeared as if it were made to 
Noah S. Clark. 

"On trial the records of deeds were produced, and there was found 



48 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

a record of the assignment purporting to be made to Noah S. Clark, 
the record bearing date September 18, 1844, but there was no record 
of any assignment to Noah Clark. The respondent's counsel ob 
jected that this evidence did not support the allegations of the indict 
ment. The forgery was alleged to have been committed on the 28th 
of June, 1844, and the court admitted evidence that Miles Burnham, 
who executed the assignment, being applied to about the 3oth of 
July, 1846, for a loan of money upon a mortgage of the same property, 
declined to make the loan unless he was satisfied there was no 
mortgage of conveyance of the land by Noah Clark, and the person 
who drew the assignment searched the records with Burnham, and 
found no such deed on record. This evidence was objected to, but 
was understood to be introductory to other material and pertinent 
evidence, and was therefore admitted ; but no such other evidence, 
to which it was introductory, was offered. 

"The jury found a verdict of guilty, which the defendant moved 
to set aside." 

Upon that the court says : 

" We are not able to look upon this statement that the deed was 
duly recorded as well as witnessed and acknowledged according to 
the statute, in'any other light than as part of the description of the 
deed and conveyance which the defendant was charged with altering. 
We are, therefore, of opinion that the evidence upon this point did 
not sustain the indictment." 

Now, if the statement that the mortgage was recorded 
was such a material part of the description that a failure 
to prove the record as charged was fatal, so, I say, in these 
overt acts, if they charge that a thing was done or a paper 
filed on a certain day and it turns out not to be so, that is 
a fatal variance, and under that description in the indict 
ment the charge cannot be substantiated. I refer to the 
case against Northumberland, 46 New Hampshire, 158, 
and also to the King against Wennard, 6 Carrington & 
Paine, 586. 

Clark vs. Commonwealth, 16 B., Monroe, 213: 

"The doctrine seems to have been well settled in England and this 
country, that in criminal cases, although words merely formal in 
their character may be treated as surplusage and rejected as such, a 
descriptive averment in an indictment must be proved as laid, and no 
allegation, whether it be necessary or unnecessary, more or le?s 
particular, which is descriptive of the identity of what is legal)/ 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 49 

essential to the charge in the indictment, can be rejected as sur 
plusage." 

And in this case I cite Dorsett's case, 5th Roger's 
Record, 77 : 

" On an indictment for coining there was an alleged possession of 
a die made of iron and steel, when, in fact, it was made of zinc and 
antimony. The variance was deemed fatal." 

And yet it was not necessary to state of what the die 
was made. If the indictment had simply said he had in 
his possession this die, it would have been enough, but the 
pleader went on and described it, saying it was made of 
iron and steel. It turned out upon the trial that it was 
made of zinc and antimony, and the variance was held to 
be fatal. So I cite the court to Wharton's American Crim. 
Law, 3rd edition, page 291, and to Roscoe on Criminal 
Evidence, 151. Now I cite the case of the United States 
against Foye, ist Curtis's Circuit Court Reports, 368, and 
I do not think it will be easy to find a case going any 
further than this. It goes to the end of the road : 

"A letter containing money deposited in the mail for the purpose 
of ascertaining whether its contents were stolen on a particular route 
and actually sent on a post-route, is a letter intended to be sent by 
post within the meaning of the post-office act." 

This I understand was a decoy letter. 

"The description of the termini between which the letter was 
intended to be sent by post cannot be rejected as surplusage, but 
must be proved as laid." 

Upon that the court says : 

" But a far more difficult question arises under the other part of the 
objection. The indictment alleges, not only that this letter was in 
tended to be conveyed by post, but describes where it was to be 
conveyed ; it fixes the termini as Georgetown and Ipswich. The 
allegation is, in substance, that the letter was intended to be conveyed 
by post from Georgetown to Ipswich. The question is, whether the 
words from Georgetown to Ipswich can be treated as surplusage. It 
was necessary to allege that the letter was intended to be conveyed 
by post. The words from Georgetown to Ipswich are descriptive of 
this intent. They describe, more particularly, that intent which it 
was necessary to allege. In United States vs. Howard, 3 Sumner, 
15, Mr. Justice Story lays down the following rule, which we consider 



5O CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

to be correct : ' No allegation, whether it be necessary or unneces 
sary, whether it be more or less particular, which is descriptive of 
the identity of that which is legally essential to the charge in the 
indictment, can ever be rejected as surplusage.' Apply that rule to 
this case. It is legally essential to the charge to allege some intent 
to have the letter conveyed somewhere by post. Suppose the indict 
ment had alleged an intent to have it conveyed between two places 
where no post-office existed, and over a post-route where no post- 
road was established by law. Inasmuch as the court must take 
notice of the laws establishing post-offices and post-roads, the indict 
ment would then have been bad ; because this necessary allegation 
would, on its face, have been false. Words, therefore, which describe 
the termini and the route, and thus show what in particular was 
intended, do identify the intent, and show it to be such an intent as 
was capable, in point of law, of existing. 

" And we are obliged to conclude that they cannot be treated as 
surplusage, and must be proved, substantially, as laid. We are of 
opinion, therefore, that there was a variance between the indictment 
and the proof ; and that, for this cause, anew trial should be gran ted." 

So I refer to the State vs. Langley, 34th New Hamp 
shire, 530. 

The COURT. I think, Colonel Ingersoll, there is no 
doubt about this doctrine. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I do not want any doubt about it. 

The COURT. There cannot be. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Well, I will just read this because I do 
not want any doubt about it in anybody's mind. 

The COURT. I have no doubt about it. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Very well : 

" If a recovery is to be had, it must be secundum allegata et pro- 
bata ; and the rule is one of entire inflexibility in respect to all such 
descriptive averments of material matters. The cases upon this point, 
many of which are collected in the case of State vs. Copp, 15 N. H., 
215, are quite uniform." 

Now, if the Court please, I not only read this with 
regard to the overt acts, but with regard to the description 
of the crime itself the conspiracy. I will then refer to 
State against Copp, i5th New Hampshire. I will also 
refer to the case of Rex against Whelpley, 4th Carrington 
& Payne, 132 ; to $d Starkie on Evidence, sections 1542 to 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 51 

1544, inclusive; also to the United States against Denee 
and others, 3d Wood, page 48, and a case under this exact 
section, 5440 : 

" It seems clear that the statute upon which this indictment is based 
is not intended to relieve the pleader from any supposed necessity of 
setting out the means agreed upon to carry out the conspiracy by- 
requiring him to aver some overt act done in pursuance of the con 
spiracy and make such act a necessary ingredient of the offence." 

The court then refers to the Commonwealth against 
Shed, 7th Gushing, 514, and continues in that case it was 
different : 

"That difficulty does not exist here, for the overt act is part of the 
offence, and must be proved as laid in the indictment." 

So I find that the court passed upon this very question, 
and I wish to call the attention of the Court again to one 
line on page 961 of the record in this case : 

" But in all cases the principle is simply this : That where the act 
which was done in pursuance of the conspiracy is described in the 
indictment it must be described with accuracy and completeness, and 
if there is a variance in the proof it is fatal to the prosecution." 

When I come to that part as to the necessity of describ 
ing offences then I will cite the Court to some other authori 
ties in connection with these. 

Now, then, we have got it established, gentlemen of the 
jury. There is no longer any doubt about that law, and 
the Court will so instruct you, that wherever they set out in 
the indictment that we did a certain thing in pursuance of 
the conspiracy, they must prove that thing precisely as 
charged, no matter whether the description was necessary or 
unnecessary. They must prove precisely as they state. They 
wrote the indictment, and they wrote it knowing they must 
prove it, and if they wrote it badly it is not the business of 
this jury to help them out of that dilemma. 

Now, as I say, we come to the dust and ashes of this 
case, the overt acts, and I take up these routes precisely in 
the order in which they were proved by the prosecution. 

First. I take up route 34149. Now, let us see where we 



52 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

are. The first charge is that we filed false and altered 
petitions by Peck, Miner, Vaile, and Rerdell. When did 
we file them ? The indictment charges that we filed them 
on the loth day of July, 1879. When did the evidence 
show they were filed ? On the 3d day of April, 1878. 
That is a fatal variance, and that is the end eternal, ever 
lasting, of that overt act. Without taking into considera 
tion the fact that every petition was true and genuine, the 
petitions were not sent by the persons as charged. It was 
presented by Senator Saunders, and that is the absolute end 
of that overt act, and you have no right to take it into con 
sideration any more than if nothing had been said 
upon the subject. 

Second. That on the loth of July a false oath was placed 
upon the records. Now, that is an overt act, and you know 
as well as I do that the description of that must be perfect. 
If they say it is of one date and the evidence shows that it 
is of another, it is of no use. It is gone. They say, then, 
that a false oath was filed. When ? On the loth day of July. 
Suppose the oath to have been false. When was it filed ? 
The evidence says April 3, 1879. That is the end of the 
false oath, no matter whether that oath is good or bad. No 
matter whether they committed perjury or wrote it with 
perfect and absolute honesty, it is utterly and entirely 
worthless as an overt act. 

Third. An order for expedition July 10, 1879, alleged to 
have been made by Brady. As a matter of fact the order 
was signed by French. There is a misdescription. No 
matter if Brady told him to sign it, it was not as a matter 
of fact signed by Brady it was signed by French. They 
described it as an order signed by Brady. It is an order 
signed by French, and the misdescription of variance is 
absolutely fatal, and you have no more right to consider it 
than you have the decree of some empire long since vanish 
ed from the earth. Now, this is all the evidence on this 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 53 

route. That is all of it with the exception of who received 
the money, and I will come to that after awhile. That is 
route 34149. 

According to their statement in the indictment, holding 
them by that, there is not the slightest testimony. We can 
consider that route out. We have only eighteen now to 
look after. That is the end of that. It has not a solitary 
prop ; upon the roof of that route not a shingle is left not 
one. 

Let us take the next route, 38135. What do we do in 
that according to the indictment ? And now, gentlemen, 
recollect, they wrote this indictment. You would think we 
did, but we didn't. They wrote it, and they are bound by 
it. But if I had been employed on behalf of the defend 
ants to write it I should have written it just in that 
way. 

First. Sending and filing a false oath. When did we 
send it ; when did we file it ? On the 26th day of June. 
That is what the indictment says. What does the evidence 
say? April 18, 1879. Now, that is the end of that. It 
was a true oath, but that does not make any difference. 
That oath is gone. That has been sworn out of the case, 
and dated out of the case. What is the next ? 

Second. Filing false petitions. When did we file them ? 
The 26th day of June, 1879. The last petition was 
filed the 8th of May, 1879, and it does not make one 
particle of difference whether these dates were before or 
after the conspiracy as set forth, but as a matter of fact, 
every one of the petitions was true. That charge is gone, 
A fatal variance. What is the next fraudulent order? 
That of June 20. There was never the slightest evi 
dence introduced to show that it was a fraudulent order 
not the slightest. And what is the next charge? Fraud 
ulently filing a subcontract. And right here I stop to ask 
the Court, of course not expecting an answer now, but in 



54 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the charge to the jury, is it possible to defraud the Gov 
ernment of the United States by filing a subcontract ? 

Now, gentlemen, I want you to think of it. How would 
you go to work to defraud the Government by filing a sub 
contract ? If the subcontract provides for a greater amount 
of pay than the Government is giving the original con 
tractor, the Government will not pay it ; it will only pay 
up to the amount that it agreed to pay the contractor. It 
is like A giving an order on B to pay C what A owes B. 
He need not pay him any more. That is all. And if the inge 
nuity of malice can think of a way by which the Government 
could be defrauded by the filing of a subcontract I will 
abandon the case. It is an impossible, absurd charge, some 
thing that never happened and never will happen. Well, 
that is the end of this route with one exception. This is 
the Agate route. This is the route where thirty dollars it is 
claimed has been taken from the Government. It is that 
route. You remember the productiveness of that post-office. 
They established an office and nobody found it out except 
the fellow that was postmaster, and in his lonely grandeur 
I think he remained about eighteen months and never sold 
a stamp. That is all that is left in that route, that order 
putting Agate upon the route and taking it off, and then 
giving one month's extra pay. That is all another child 
washed 38135 that is all there is to that route ; no evi 
dence except epithets, no testimony except abuse. If 
anything is left under that it is simply " robber, thief, 
pickpocket." That is all. 

Now we come to another route, and I again beg pardon 
for calling attention to these little things. The Govern 
ment has forced us to do it. It is like a lawsuit among 
neighbors. Each is so anxious to beat the other they be 
gin to charge for things that they never dreamed of at the 
time they were delivered. They will charge for neighborly 
acts, time lost in attending the funeral of members of each 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 55 

other's family before they get through the lawsuit. So the 
Government started out in this case, and not finding a great 
point had to put in little ones, and we have to answer the 
kind of points they make. 

41119. Overt acts. First. Filing a false oath. When 
did we file it? The 25th day of June, the indictment 
says. Who filed it ? Peck and Miner. Well, when was 
it filed or when was it transmitted ? According to their 
story, June 23, 1879. This oath is marked 8 C, and 
an effort was made to prove by a man by the name of 
Blois that it was a forgery. That was objected to, first, 
that it was not charged to be forged in the indictment ; and 
second, that a notary public had already sworn that it was 
genuine, and that he could not be impeached in that way, 
and thereupon that oath was withdrawn, and you will 
never hear of it any more. I do not know whether it is 
true or not. That is found on record, page 1469. Now, 
recollect that oath was withdrawn. That is the end of it. 

Second. Filing false petitions. When were they filed ? July 
8, 1879, and it turned out that that charge was true, 
with two exceptions: First, that they were not filed at 
that time ; and, second, that all the petitions were true. 
That is the only harm about that charge. 

Third. A fraudulent order made by Brady, July 8th. 
Now let us see what the fraud consists in. The fraud is 
claimed to be in expediting to thirty -three hours when the 
petition only called for forty-eight. You remember the 
charge expediting to thirty-three hours, when the petition 
only called for forty-eight. Now, let us see. It is claimed 
that to grant more than the petitions ask is a crime ; cer 
tainly it must be admitted that to grant less is equally a 
crime. The only evidence now of fraud in this is that he 
was asked to expedite the forty-eight hours, but he ex 
pedited to thirty-three. That is to say, he violated the 
petitions, and if that is good doctrine, then the petitions 



56 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

must settle whether expedition is to be granted or not. If 
that is good doctrine there is no appeal from the petition. 
I do not believe that doctrine, gentlemen. I believe it is 
the business of the Post-Office Department to grant all the 
facilities to the people of the United States that the people 
need. He must get his information from the people, and 
from the representatives of the people ; and while he is not 
bound to give all they ask, if he does give what the people 
want, and what their representatives indorse, you cannot 
twist or torture it into a crime. That is what I insist. Now, 
the only charge is here, and while they ask for forty-eight 
hours he gave thirty -three. That is the only crime. Did 
he pay too much for it ? There is no evidence of it. Be 
fore I get through I will show you that there is no evi 
dence that he ever paid a dollar too much for any service 
whatever. 

Now, then, if the doctrine contended for by the Govern 
ment is correct, then a petition is the standard of duty and 
the warrant of action, and if they gain upon this route 
they lose upon every other route. Let us examine. There 
are three charges. First, false petitions. They were all 
true. Second, false oaths. They offered to prove it, and 
then withdrew it. Third, that while the petitions called 
for forty-eight hours he granted thirty-three, and before 
you can find that that was fraudulent you must understand 
the precise connections that this mail made with all others, 
and it was incumbent upon them to prove, not an infer 
ence, but a fact, that there was not only reason, but reason 
in money sound reason for expediting it instead of forty- 
eight to thirty-three. That is the end of that route. There 
is not a jury on earth, let it be summoned by prejudice 
and presided over by ignorance, that would find a verdict 
of guilty upon the testimony in that route. It is impos 
sible. Another child gone. 

44155. Let us see what we get there, and I have not got 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 5? 

to my client yet. First, filing false petitions, by Peck, 
Miner, Vaile and Rerdell. When ? On the zyth of 
June, 1879. Were they false? Let us see. Mr. Bliss, 
speaking of these petitions contained in a jacket held 
in his hand, dated the 2gth of June, 1879, record, page 
687, said : " We do not attack the genuineness of these 
petitions." That is the end of that. So much for that. 

Second. A fraudulent order increasing service, and yet all 
the petitions are admitted to be genuine, and the order was 
in accordance with the petitions on the route. Before the 
order was fraudulent because it was not in accordance with 
the petitions, and in this route it is a fraud because it is in 
accordance with the petitions. Now, just take it. Here is 
the route. Every petition is genuine, the oath is true, not 
a petition attacked, the order in accordance therewith, and 
the only evidence that the order is a fraud is that it was in 
accordance with genuine petitions recommended by the 
people and by the representatives of the people. That is 
all. 

Let me tell you another thing. Expedition had been 
granted on the route long before, and this was simply an 
increase of trips, and no charge was made that the order 
granting the expedition ever was a fraud. 

Third. Another fraudulent order by Brady, of April 17, 
1880, and it turns out that this order was in fact made by 
French. That was the only evidence that it was fraudu 
lent, but the mere fact that French made it takes it out of 
this case, and you have no more right to consider it than 
you would an order made in the Treasury Department. 
The only objection to this order now is what ? That it 
was in violation of the petitions. How ? That it took off 
one or two of the trips. That was the fraud of the order of 
April 17, 1880. The fraud consisted in taking off two or 
three trips that had been put on. 

Now, let us see. The next fraudulent order was July 



58 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

1 6, 1880. What was that for? For putting the serv 
ice back precisely as it was. Now, I want you, gentlemen, 
to understand that, every one of you. Here is a charge in 
the indictment of a fraudulent order that took off, say, two 
trips from the service. That is a fraud they say. Then 
the next order put those two trips back, and that they say 
is another fraud. It would have been very hard to have 
made an order in that case to have satisfied the Govern 
ment ; it was an order to decrease it ; it was an order to 
put it back where it was ; that is, it was a fraud, conse 
quently it was a fraud to do anything about it. That is 
all there is in that case. 

Let us boil it down. False petitions. That is the 
charge. The evidence is that the petitions are all true. A 
false oath is the charge. The evidence is that the oath is 
true. A fraudulent order decreasing the service, another 
fraudulent order increasing the service, that is, leaving it 
just where he found it. In other words, according to this 
indictment, Brady committed a fraud in reducing the trips, 
and another fraud by putting the trips back. I think it 
was only one trip that he reduced. Now, that is all there 
is in that case. People may talk about it one day or one 
year. That is all there is, and that is nothing. 

38145. Fraudulently filing what ? A subcontract with 
J. L. Sanderson. I say you cannot fraudulently file a sub 
contract against the Government. It is an impossibility. 
Besides all that, Mr. Sanderson filed his own subcontract. 
There is no evidence that anybody else did file it or present 
it for filing. It was not our contract ; it was Sanderson's 
subcontract. How comes that in his indictment ? Let me 
tell you. In the first indictment they had Sanderson ; and 
when they copied that first indictment, with certain varia 
tions to make this, they forgot this part and put in the 
fraudulent filing of Sanderson's contract. It never should 
have been in this case. It has not the slightest, relation- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 59 

ship. The real charge of fraud in this route is that a retro 
spective order was made, and this order bore date February 
26, 1 88 1, and was retrospective in this : that it was to take 
effect from the i5th of January, 1881 ; but understand me, 
this was Sanderson's route. He received that money, and 
it has nothing to do with us. Still I will answer it. That 
retrospective order gave pay from the i5th of January, 
1 88 1. Now, it seems that before the order of February 26, 
an order had been made by telegraph, dated isth of 
January, 1881, to Sanderson, and this telegraphic order was 
for daily service on eighty-nine miles. The jacket order 
of February 26, 1881, was for daily service on the whole 
route from January 15, 1881. If that order had been car 
ried out he would have received pay for daily service on 
the whole route, instead of for daily service on the eighty- 
nine miles to which he was entitled. It turned out that 
the order of February 26, 1881, was signed by Postmaster- 
General Maynard. The only possible charge is that San 
derson received pay for a daily service on the whole route 
from January 15, 1881, to February 26, 1881, instead of 
eighty-nine miles. But we find in the table of payments 
introduced by the Government, that for that quarter a de 
duction was made of three thousand four hundred and 
twenty-two dollars and nineteen cents, showing that the 
department could only have paid for the daily service on 
the eighty-nine miles, and that is exactly what the daily 
service would come to on the balance of the route. That 
ends that route. We had nothing to do with it anyway. It 
was Sanderson. He filed his own contract, he got his own 
orders, he collected his own money and settled with the 
department. We have nothing to do with it and we will 
bid it farewell. 

The next is No. 38156. First, filing false oath June 12, 
1879. The oath was filed May 6, 1879. That is the end 
of that. I do not care whether it is true or false, that is, 



60 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIKST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

so far as this verdict is concerned. I care whether it is 
true or false, so far as my clients are concerned, but so far 
as this verdict is concerned, it makes no difference. There 
is a fatal variance. Second, it is alleged that Brady made a 
fraudulent order June 12, 1879. The order of June 12, 
1879, was ma< l e by French. There is another fatal vari 
ance. You have no right to take it into consideration. 
French is not one of the parties here. Third, sending a 
subcontract of Dorsey and filing it. As I told you before, 
you cannot by any possibility thus defraud the Govern 
ment ; not even if you set up nights to think about it. 
There is no proof that the subcontract was a fraud. Let us 
have some sense. It is an absolute impossibility to com 
mit this offence, and therefore we will talk no more about 
it. Fourth, the fraudulent order of Brady increasing the 
distance four miles. This was done on the 2oth of Decem 
ber, 1880. That is the only real charge in this route. I 
turn to the record and find from the evidence, on page 943, 
that the distance was from five to six miles, according to 
the Government's own proof. Beside all that, the order of 
which they complain is not in the record. It was never 
proved by the Government and never offered by the 
Government, so far as I can find. That is the end of that 
route. The only charge in it is that they increased the dis 
tance four miles, and the evidence of the Government is 
that it was from five to six. 

The next is 46132. Overt acts: Filing a false oath by 
everybody June 24, 1879. The evidence shows it was filed 
April u, 1879. That is the end of that. No matter 
whether it is true or false, it is gone. Second, the fraudu 
lent filing of a subcontract. Well, I have shown you that 
that cannot be fraudulent. The subcontract of Vaile 
shows that Vaile was to receive one hundred per cent. It 
was executed April i, 1878, in consequence, as my friend 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 6l 

General Henkle explained, of a conspiracy made on the 
23d of May following. The service commenced July i, 
1878. There could have been no fraud in it. It was filed as 
a matter of fact May 24, 1879, and not June -4. Even if it 
had been a fraud, which is an impossibility, the description 
is wrong and the variance is fatal. There is no evidence 
that any order was fraudulent. Every one in this case is 
supported by petitions, and every petition is admitted to 
be honest, or proved to be honest and genuine. There is 
no proof at all, and not the slightest attempt on the part of 
the Government to prove that there was any fraud on this 
route. So much for that. 

No. 46247. Let us see just where we are. First, filing 
false and forged petitions. When? July 26, 1879. By 
whom ? By Peck, Dorsey, and Rerdell. Now, after they 
had solemnly written that in the indictment, and after it 
had been solemnly found to be a fact by the grand jury, 
the attorneys for the Government come into court and 
admit during the trial that all the petitions upon this 
route were genuine ; every one. It was admitted, I say, 
that every petition was genuine. Read from page 1008 of 
the record and there you will find what the Court said 
about these very petitions : 

"I shall take the responsibility of dispensing with the reading of 
petitions when there is no point made with regard to them." 

The petitions were so good, they were so honest, they 
were so genuine, they were so sensible, that the curiosity 
of the Court was aroused to find what on earth they were 
being read for on the part of the prosecution. You re 
member it. Every one genuine, honor bright, from the 
first line to the last. In reply to the Court at that time 
Mr. Bliss said : 

" There is no point made as to the increase of trips. These " 

Meaning the petitions 
" relate to the increase of trips. There is no point made there." 



62 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

It is thus admitted that every petition was genuine. 
Second, a fraudulent order increasing one trip. This 
order was never proved by the Government. It was not 
even offered by the Government, so that the route stands 
in this way : First, a charge of false petitions ; second, an 
admission that the petitions were all genuine; third, a 
charge that a fraudulent order was made ; fourth, no proof 
that the order was made. That is all there is to that. 
And that is the end of it. 

No. 38134. First, sending false and fraudulent petitions, 
and filing the same. When? July 8, 1879. On page 1031 of 
the record I find the following : 

"Mr. Bliss. The petitions under your Honor's ruling I am not 
going to offer." 

Why ? Because they were all genuine. The court had 
mildly suggested the impropriety of the Government 
proving its case by reading honest petitions. Conse 
quently, when it came to this, the next route, he said : 
" The petitions under your Honor's ruling I am not going to offer." 
Why ? Because they are all honest, and under a charge 
in the indictment that they are all fraudulent he did not 
see the propriety of reading them. That is what he meant. 
This remark was made because the Government admitted 
these petitions to be honest. When were these petitions 
filed ? The indictment says July 8. The evidence says 
May 6. So that if every petition had been a forgery you 
could not take them into consideration on this route. It is 
charged that Miner & Co. signed and placed in Brady's 
office a false oath on July 8. On record, page 1032, it 
appears that it was filed May 8, 1879, and not as described 
in the indictment. The pleader has the privilege of de 
scribing it right or describing it wrong. If he describes it 
right it can go in evidence. If he describes it wrong it 
cannot go in evidence, and they have no right to complain 
if you throw out evidence that they make it impossible for 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 63 

you to receive. It has been charged with regard to this 
affidavit that Dorsey was not at that time contractor, and 
therefore had no right to make the affidavit. The affidavit 
was made April 21, 1879, and the regulation that such affi 
davits must be made by the contractors was made July i, 
1879. That is a sufficient answer. The next charge is a 
fraudulent order made by Brady, July 8. The petitions 
were all admitted to be genuine. There was no evidence 
that the order was not asked for by the petitions. There 
was no evidence that the order in and of itself was fraudu 
lent; not the slightest. There is nothing like taking these 
things up as we go and seeing what the Government has 
established. I know that you want to know exactly what 
has been done in this case and you want to find a verdict 
in accordance with the evidence. 

Route 38140. Overt acts: First, making, sending, and 
filing false petitions. When were they made and sent ? 
The 23d day of May, 1879. There were some petitions 
filed May 10, 1879, and there was a letter of the same date. 
They are misdescribed. They are all genuine but they are 
out of the case as far as this is concerned. I will tell you after 
awhile where they are applicable in this case. A letter of 
Belford, of April 29, 1879, and a letter, of Senator Chaffee, 
of April 24, 1879, we have, while the indictment charges 
that they were all filed May 23, 1879. There is an abso 
lute and a fatal variance. All these petitions, however, are 
admitted to be genuine and honest. See record, pages 
1001-1003. The charge in the indictment is that they were 
forged, false, and altered. The admission in open court, 
by the representatives of the Government, is, that they were 
genuine and honest. There is the difference between an 
indictment and testimony. There is the difference between 
public rumor and fact. There is the difference between the 
press and the evidence. The next is that a false oath was 
filed by John W. Dorsey on the 23d of May, 1879. When 



64 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

was that oath filed? April 30, 1879. A fatal variance. 
Yet the man who wrote the indictment had the affidavit be 
fore him. Why did he not put in the true date ? I will 
tell you after awhile. Did he know it was not true when 
he put it in the indictment ? He did, undoubtedly. 

Third. Fraudulent order of May 23 ; reducing the time 
from nineteen and three-quarter hours to twelve hours. As 
a matter of fact, no order was made on the 23d of May upon 
this route. It is charged in the indictment that it was 
made on the 23d of May. The evidence shows that it was 
on the Qth of May. There is a fatal variance, and that 
order cannot be considered by this jury as to this branch of 
the case. Here is an order of which they complain. They 
charge that it was made on the 23d day of May, the same 
day the conspiracy was entered into. As a matter of fact, 
it was made on the gth of May. On this description it goes 
out, and it goes out on a still higher principle : That an 
order could not have been made on the gth of May in pur 
suance of a conspiracy made on the 23d of that month. 
But I am speaking now simply as to the description of this 
offence. 

Fourth. A subcontract was fraudulently filed. I have 
shown you it is impossible to fraudulently file a contract ; 
utterly impossible. All the agreements imaginable be 
tween the contractor and subcontractor cannot even tend to 
defraud the Government of a solitary dollar. I make a 
bid and the contract is awarded to me at so much. The 
mail has to be carried. The Government pays, say five 
thousand dollars a year, it makes no difference to the Gov 
ernment who carries the mail under that contract, so long 
as it is carried. It is utterly impossible to defraud the 
Government by contracting with A, B, C, or D. That is 
the end of that route. The order itself is misdescribed, 
and that is all there is in it. When the order is gone 
everything is gone. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 65 

No. 38113. Overt acts: Fraudulently filing a subcon 
tract. We do not need to talk about that any more. Second, 
Brady fraudulently made an order for increase of trips. 
The evidence is that an increase was asked for by a great 
many officers, a great many representatives, and by hun 
dreds of citizens, and that the increase was insisted upon 
not only by the officers who were upon the ground, but by 
General Sherman himself. I do not know how it is with 
you, but with me General Sherman's opinion would have 
great weight. He is a man capable of controlling hun 
dreds of thousands of men in the field a man with the 
genius, with the talent, with the courage, and with the in 
trepidity to win the greatest victories, and to carry on the 
greatest possible military operations. I would have nearly 
as much confidence in his opinion as I would in the guess 
of this prosecution. In my judgment, I would think as 
much of his opinion given freely as I would of the opinion 
of a lawyer who was paid for giving it. General Sherman 
has been spoken of slightingly in this case ; but he will be 
remembered a long time after this case is forgotten, after all 
engaged in it are forgotten, and even after this indictment 
shall have passed from the memory of man. 

No. 38152. Overt acts: Fraudulent orders of August 3, 
1 880, discontinuing the service and allowing a month's extra 
pay for the service discontinued. That is all. May it please 
your Honor, in this route the only point is, had the Post 
master General the right to discontinue the service? And 
if he did discontinue it, was he under any obligation to al 
low a month's extra pay ? It is the only question. I call 
your Honor's attention to the case of the United State:', 
against Reeside, 8 Wallace, 38 ; Fullenwider against the 
United States, 9 Court of Claims, 403 ; and Garfielde against 
the United States, 3 Otto, 242. In those cases it is decided 
not only that the Postmaster-General has the right to allow 
this month's extra pay, byt he must do it. That is in full 



66 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

settlement of all the damages that the contractor may have 
sustained. The Court can see the very foundation of that 
law. For illustration, I bid upon a route of one thousand 
miles. I am supposed to get ready to carry the mail. Five 
hundred miles are taken from that route. The law steps 
in and says that for that damage I shall have one month's 
extra pay on the portion of the route discontinued. It 
makes no difference whether I have made any preparation 
or not. The law gives me that and no more. If I should go 
into the Supreme Court and say that my preparations had 
cost me fifty thousand dollars, and the month's extra pay 
was only five thousand dollars, I have no redress for the 
other forty-five thousand dollars. That is all that is charged 
in this instance. And if the Second Assistant Postmaster- 
General or any one else had done differently he would have 
acted contrary to law. He is indicted for doing in this 
case exactly what is in accordance with the law. Let us get 
to the next route. That is all there is in this. 

No. 38015. Overt acts: Sending a false oath. When? 
May 21. The evidence shows that on May 14 it was sent, 
on May 15 it was filed. A fatal variance, no matter 
whether it is true or false. That oath is gone. That is 
the end of it. 

What else ? They did not show that the oath was false. 
First, it is misdescribed in the indictment as to the date it 
is filed ; second, the evidence shows that it is honest and 
genuine, which is also fatal. That is the end of this route, 
as far as the indictment is concerned. Second, that Dorsey 
made and Rerdell filed false petitions. There is no proof 
that any of the petitions were false, no proof that any were 
forged, and no proof that John W. Dorsey or M. C. Rerdell 
had anything to do with that route one way or the other. 
All the petitions on record, page 1160, are admitted to be 
genuine except one. One petition asking for a ten-hour 
schedule was attacked and only one. But this petition was 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 67 

filed May 14, 1879, and that is out so far as the indictment 
is concerned. 

The COURT. What is the date of the indictment ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. The 23d day of May. The indictment 
says that this was filed July 10, 1879; the evidence says 
May 14, 1879. A fatal variance. It is not the same one 
they were talking about. They did not find the petition 
they described. It is their misfortune. Now, here is only 
one petition attacked. Who attacked it ? Mr. Shaw. See 
page 1159. They were going to show that that was a for 
gery, and they were going to show it by Shaw. That was 
the only one they attacked. What does Shaw say ? 

"I signed a petition for increase of service and expedition upon 
that route, but I did not read the petition. If I had, I should have 
discovered a ten-hour schedule." 

He would not have discovered it if it had not been there, 
would he ? That shows it was there. 

" I would not have recommended a ten-hour schedule on a seventy- 
mile route." 

He was the man that was going to prove that ten hours 
was not there. But it shows that he was not able to do it, 
because he first swore that he never read it, and second, 
that he would not have signed it if he had. Good by, Mr. 
Shaw. That is all there is as to that matter. The Court 
will understand I am going now upon what is in the 
indictment, and not what has been thrown in from the 
outside. 

The COURT. I understand that. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I am going according to the strict letter 
of this indictment. I am holding these gentlemen to the 
law. That is what the law is for. You cannot come into 
this court and throw seven or eight cords of paper at a man 
and say, " You are guilty." They have managed this case 
after that fashion, but I propose to bring them back to the 
law. 

Route 35051. First. Signing, sending and filing false 



68 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

petitions. When? August 2, 1879. There is no evidence 
of any petitions being filed on that day none whatever. 
The only thing near it is a letter of Frederick Billings, on 
record, page 1217. This letter was dated July 31, 1879. 
Under the charge of signing, sending and filing false peti 
tions, the only evidence is that a man by the name of 
Billings wrote a letter, and there is not the slightest testi 
mony to show that a solitary word in that letter was false 
not one. Nothing to connect it with Mr. Billings ; no 
evidence that he ever spoke to him on the subject ; no evi 
dence that Billings knew who was carrying the mail ; no 
evidence that he ever knew or did a thing except to write 
that letter, and he was interested, I believe, in the Northern 
Pacific railroad. Now, that is everything there is there ; 
that is all there is in that case. Nobody has tried to show 
that the letter of Billings was not true. 

What else? A fraudulent order of August, 1879. Who 
made it ? The indictment says Brady made it. The evi 
dence says it was signed by French, and it was in accord 
ance with Billings' letter. Is there any fraud now in that 
route ? Let us be honest. False petitions : Not one filed. 
False oath : Not one attacked. Simply a letter that we did 
not write, and that there is no evidence that we ever asked 
to have written. That is the end of that. But they can 
not even get the letter in, gentlemen. They did not de 
scribe it right. 

The next route is 40104. Overt acts: First. Fraudulently 
filing a subcontract. That you cannot do. When did we 
file it? July 23, 1879, tne indictment says. What does 
the evidence say ? May 8, 1879. First, we could not com 
mit the offence ; secondly, you could not prove it under 
this description. 

Second. Filing a false oath. When did we file it ? July 
23. That is what the indictment says. What does the 
evidence say? November 26, 1878, A fatal variance. See 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 69 

record, page 1305. That is the end of that. The indict 
ment is for something. You have got to follow it, and it 
certainly is not as hard work to write an offence against a 
man as it is to prove it. If they cannot write an offence, 
you certainly ought not to find the man guilty. Besides 
all that, that oath was not even impeached, it was not eve 
attacked. There was not a word said upon the subject 
except in the indictment. It was charged to be false, and 
not one word of evidence was offered to this jury to show 
that it was false. 

Third. An alleged fraudulent order of increase by Brady, 
July 23, 1879. Brady never signed any such order. It 
was signed by French. That is the end of it, no matter 
whether it was good or bad, honest or dishonest. That is 
the end of it, and yet there is not a particle of evidence to 
show that it was dishonest, but you must hold them to 
their own case as they have written it, and not as they 
wish it was now. 

Fourth. A fraudulent order of April 10, 1880, allowing 
one month's extra pay on the service reduced. This order 
was not even proved by the Government. As a matter of 
fact, it was not offered by the Government ; and if it had 
been offered, and if it had been proved, it would have only 
established the fact that Mr. Brady acted in accordance 
with law. 

Now, we come to some more. 44160. First, filing false 
petitions. When did we file them? July 16, 1880. Th< 
proof is that they were filed long before that time 
The proof is that Peck, Dorsey and Rerdell had nothing tc 
do with this route after the ist of April, 1879, and the pe 
tition claimed to be signed by Utah people and claimed to 
be fraudulent in the petition marked 19 Q. It was filed on 
the 7th day of May, 1879. 

That is a fatal variance. This indictment charges it was 
filed July 1 6, 1880. The petition cannot be considered. 



7O CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

There is another petition marked 20 Q, claimed to have 
been written by Miner, upon which the name of Hall is 
said to have been forged. It has no file mark whatever, 
and consequently cannot be the petition referred to in the 
indictment. That was filed. That, however, has been ex 
plained by General Henkle fully. This petition was 
identified by McBean, and was signed by him, and he rec 
ognized the signatures of many of the citizens of Canyon 
City. Mr. Merrick admitted that the petition, 19 Q, was 
never acted upon. As a matter of fact, orders had been 
made before the petition was received, which shows con 
clusively that they were not acted upon. The petition marked 
20 Q, to which Hall's name was, as is claimed, forged, was 
never filed, and was consequently never acted upon. This 
charge stands as follows : Two petitions, one being filed 
May 17, 1879 a fatal variance and the other not filed 
another fatal variance. These petitions are both de 
scribed as having been filed July 16, 1880. The vari 
ance is absolutely fatal, and these petitions cannot be con 
sidered. Besides, the order was made before the petition 19 
Q was filed. 

Second. The fraudulent order by Brady for increase of 
trips, July 16, 1880. The only objection to this route 
is that the expedition was made before service was put on. 
This was in the power of the Postmaster-General. It has 
been done many times, and is still being done by the Post- 
office Department, and the fact that it was done in this case 
does not even tend to show that any fraud was committed 
or intended. That is all there is in that case. The peti 
tions were never acted upon. One was never filed, and the 
other is not described, or rather is misdescribed. 

Route 48 1 50 Overt Acts: A fraudulent order by Brady 
reducing service to three trips a week, and allowing 
a month's pay on service dispensed with July 26, 
1880. This point, gentlemen, I have already argued. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. Jl 

Whenever the Post-Office Department dispenses with any 
service it is bound to give one month's extra pay any time 
after the contract has been made and any time after the 
bid has been accepted. It is bound to give the month's ex 
tra pay OP the service dispensed with, and this question, as 
you heard me say a little while ago, has been decided by 
the Supreme Court in Garfielde's case. This route was 
operated by Sanderson. He was the subcontractor, and, 
according to the subcontract filed and presented here in evi 
dence, he received every cent of the pay. We could have 
had no interest in perpetrating any fraud upon that route. 
Why? Because another man, J. L. Sanderson, received 
every dollar, and we not one cent. 

Another fraudulent order of increase, August 24, from 
Powderhorn to Barnum, seven miles. No fraud was 
shown, but the order in fact, was made for the benefit 
of Sanderson and not for the benefit of any of the defend 
ants in this case. In other words, it was made for the 
benefit of the people, it was made because they wished to 
reach another post-office. 

Another charge is that the subcontract made by Sander 
son was filed September 18, 1878. Recollect the charge 
is about filing this subcontract. The fact is it was filed in 
1878 to take effect from July i, 1878. See record, page 
1406. On this very route the subcontract took effect the 
ist of July, 1878, with Sanderson, and from that moment 
until now he has received every dollar. This route, as a 
matter of fact, is out of the scheme. Sanderson carried the 
mail from the ist of July, 1878, until the end of that con 
tract, the last day of June, 1882. So much for that route. 
It is gone. Nobody can get it back, either, in this scheme. 

Route 40113. Overt Acts : Filing of a false oath. When ? 
June 3, 1879. When was it filed? May 7, 1879. That 
oath is gone. Was it false ? They did not attack it. They 
never impeached it. Good. 



72 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Second. False petitions filed. When? Junes, 1879. All 
the petitions were filed prior to May 10, 1879. They are 
gone. One was filed May 23, but none was filed as alleged 
on June 3. They are gone. A magnificently written in 
strument. A fatal variance as to every petition. And yet 
not a solitary petition was attacked. Every petition was 
genuine and honest. 

Third. A fraudulent order by Brady for increase and ex 
pedition. This order was asked for by the petitions. No 
fraud was established. See record, page 1503 on this route; 
also page 2159. 

Fourth. They also charge that Brady made a fraudulent 
order on the 4th of January, 1881. But the Government 
never proved that order, never offered any order of that 
date. That is the end of that order. 

Fifth. A fraudulent order of February n, 1881. This 
was not offered by the Government, and no evidence was 
offered as to the existence of the order, neither the jacket, 
nor the order, nor the petitions, so far as I can find. That 
is the end of that. Every overt act so far, except some of 
the orders, wrong. The overt acts charged were filing 
fraudulent petitions. When? May 23, 1879. These are 
the petitions said to have been gotten up by Wilcox. Mr. 
Wilcox was a Government witness and he swore that every 
petition was honest, that every name was genuine, and that 
in order to get the names he did not circulate a falsehood, 
he circulated only the truth. To use his own language, " I 
did only straightforward, honest work." That is all there 
is on that. 

44140 is the number of this route, and this evidence is on 
record, page 1568, and in regard to getting up these peti 
tions you will recollect the language used by the Court. 
His Honor said in effect clearly, "Every man carrying the 
mail has the right to take care of his business. He has the 
right to get up petitions. He has the right to call the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 73 

attention of the people to what he supposes to be their 
needs in that regard. He has the right to do it ; and the 
fact that he does it is not the slightest evidence that he has 
conspired with any human being." Deny me the right to 
attend to my own affairs ? If I have taken the route from 
the Government, and contract to carry the mail, tell me 
that I cannot suggest to my fellow-citizens that they ought 
to have a daily mail instead of a weekly ? Tell me that I 
have not the right to talk it on the corners, in every post- 
office for which I start, and that if I do I am liable to be 
pursued and convicted of an infamous offence? Every 
man has the right to attend to his own affairs, and he has 
the right to get all the people he can to help him. He has 
no right to go around lying about it, but he has the right 
to call their attention to the facts the same as you would 
have the right to get a road by your house ; just exactly 
the same as you would have the right to get a school- 
house built in your district, no matter if you were to have 
the contract for making the brick. You have a right to 
say what you please in favor of education, no matter if you 
are an architect and expect to be employed to build the 
schoolhouse, and any other doctrine is infinitely absurd. 

There is another charge : That a false oath was filed on 
the 24th of May. The affidavit was made by Mr. Peck, 
and I believe it has been admitted that Mr. Peck never did 
anything wrong. Then there is alleged to be a fraudulent 
order for increase, signed June 26, and they never intro 
duced the slightest evidence tending to show that there 
was fraud in the order. It was made in accordance witl 
the petitions. It was made in accordance with what wt 
believed to be the policy of the Post-Office Department. 
And allow me to say to your Honor that I think that the 
general policy of the Post-Office Department, as disclosed 
in the documents that have been presented in the reports 
made to Congress that have become a part of this case, I 



74 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

think even from that evidence I have the right to draw an 
inference as to what the policy of the department was. 

The COURT. I have no doubt in the world as to the 
views of the Post-Office Department in regard to that sub 
ject. The Court refused to receive evidence on that subject 
in defence, for the simple reason that the Court was of 
opinion that no Second Assistant Postmaster-General had 
the authority to establish any policy for this Government 
or for any branch of this Government. The policy of the 
Government is to be found in its laws, and the Court was 
unwilling to allow a Second Assistant Postmaster-General 
to set up his policy in his defence against a charge in this 
court. He had no right to have a policy. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. We never set up the policy of the 
Second Assistant. We never asked to be allowed to prove 
the policy of the Second Assistant. We never imagined it, 
nor dreamed of it, nor heard of it until this moment. What 
we wanted to show was the policy, not of the Second 
Assistant, but of the Postmaster-General. But I am not 
speaking now upon that branch. 

The COURT. The Postmaster-General by law is the head 
of the department of course. But several assistants were 
given him by law, and he had the authority to apportion 
out the business of the department amongst those several 
assistants. The particular business of the department per 
taining to the increase of service and expedition of routes 
belonged under this apportionment to the Second Assistant 
Postmaster-General. His acts, therefore, are to be looked 
to. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I do not claim, if the Court please, that 
his policy had anything to do with it. I simply claim that 
from the orders that have been introduced, not of the 
Second Assistant, from the books that have been intro 
duced, showing the views of the Postmaster-General, not of 
the Second Assistant. I also admit that if the Postmaster- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 75 

General had ordered by direct order the Second Assistant 
Postmaster-General to expedite every one of these routes, 
even then there could have been such a thing as a conspir 
acy to expedite them too greatly, and to receive money 
from every man for whom they were expedited. I under 
stand that. But in the absence of any proof that it is so, 
all I have ever insisted was that the general policy of the 
head of the department might be followed by any subor 
dinate officer without laying himself open to the charge 
that he had been purchased. That is all. 

Now, gentlemen, all these things had been asked. They 
had been earnestly solicited by hundreds of Congressmen, 
by Senators, by Judges, by Governors, by Cabinet officers 
and by hundreds and hundreds of citizens. 

Now, let me recapitulate all the overt acts and I have 
gone over them all now excepting one, and I will come to 
that presently. In the indictment there are twelve charges 
as to filing false petitions. There are ten charges as to 
false oaths. There are seven charges as to fraudulently 
filing subcontracts ; and the evidence is that the ten oaths 
are substantially true ; that it is impossible to fraudulently 
file a subcontract ; and as to the petitions, that every one is 
absolutely genuine and honest with the exception of three. 
They prove that the words " schedule, thirteen hours," 
were inserted ; that is, they tried to prove that by Mr. 
Blois, who is an expert on handwriting, as has been de 
monstrated to you. One with thirteen hours inserted in it, 
and the very next paragraph in that same petition begs for 
faster time. I have not the slightest idea that that ever 
was inserted by anybody. I believe it was in there when 
it was signed. And why ? There would have been, there 
could have been, there can be, no earthly reason for insert 
ing those words. You cannot imagine a reason for it. 

Now, that is thirteen hours. Then there is another one 
they say had some names of persons living in Utah, and 



76 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

we say that that is not described properly ; not only that, 
but that it was never acted upon, and in my judgment that 
whole thing is a mistake and not a crime, because there 
were plenty of petitions without that. There was no need 
of it. All the other petitions have either been proved, or 
have been admitted to be absolutely genuine. 

Now, I have gone over every overt act except payments, 
and when it was said here in court, or when the objection 
was made to these being proved as overt acts, the Court 
will remember that again and again and again, the prose 
cution denied that they were offered as overt acts. 

The COURT. I never understood them as being offered as 
overt acts. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. At that time the Court made just the re 
mark that your Honor has made now. He said : " But what 
are the payments ? " Now, I will take up the payments, 
and we will see whether there are any overt acts in the 
payments, gentlemen. 

Now, let me call your attention to that magnificent rule 
that has been laid down by the Court. When you describe 
an offence you are held by the description. When it is said 
that I made a false claim against the Government in a 
conspiracy case, for instance, that I conspired to defraud 
the Government, that I presented a false claim, it may be 
that the laxity or lenity of pleading might go the extent 
of saying that the pleader need not state the amount of that 
false claim, but if the pleader does state the amount of that 
false claim he is bound by that statement. Now, that is 
my doctrine. 

The COURT. What I understood in regard to the evi 
dence of the payments is this : The charge was a conspir 
acy to defraud and the averment was that the fraud had 
been completed, and this evidence of payments was to show 
that the fraud had been carried out. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is all. Now, let us see if this can 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 77 

be tortured into an overt act. I now come to the presenta 
tion of false claims charged to have been presented and 
collected by these defendants. It is a short business. On 
the route from Kearney to Kent the charge is that Peck 
and Vaile presented false claims on the third quarter of 
1879 for five hundred and fifty dollars and seventy -two 
cents. The entire pay for that quarter, three trips and ex 
pedition, was seven hundred and ninety-five dollars and 
seventy-eight cents. And there is no charge that the in 
crease of trips was fraudulent. Only the expedition was 
attacked. The three trips, according to the old schedule 
price, came to seven hundred and thirty-five dollars and 
eighty-one cents, all of which was honestly carried, honestly 
earned. Now, deducting from the pay seven hundred and 
ninety-five dollars and seventy-eight cents, the amount of 
the three trips on the old schedule honestly performed, 
seven hundred and thirty-five dollars and eighteen cents, 
if the expedition was fraudulent, we have a fraudulent 
claim of sixty dollars and sixteen cents. And yet the 
Government charges that we made a claim of five hundred 
and fifty dollars and seventy-two cents. Not one cent is 
allowed for carrying the two additional trips without ex 
pedition. 

There is another trouble about this. It is. charged that 
Peck and Vaile presented this claim for their benefit. The 
record, page 386, shows that Peck did not present this 
claim ; that it was presented by H. M. Vaile ; that H. M. 
Vaile received the warrant for the full amount ; that he 
held a subcontract at that time for every dollar. This is 
another fatal variance, and the evidence of Vaile is that 
every dollar belonged to him ; that not a dollar of that 
money was ever paid to any other one of the defendants ; 
that he paid all the expenses ; that he paid the debts, and 
that there never went a solitary cent to any Government 
official. So much for that payment. 



78 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

The next charge is that on route 41119, from Toquer- 
ville to Adairville, Peck presented a false claim for the third 
quarter of 1879 for two thousand four hundred and sixty 
dollars and fourteen cents. The pay for that quarter was 
three thousand six hundred and twenty-eight dollars and 
fourteen cents for seven trips and expedition. The pay 
for the three trips on the old schedule was eight hundred and 
seventy-six dollars, a difference of two thousand seven 
hundred and fifty-two dollars and fourteen cents. And yet 
the Government charges that the false claim presented was 
two thousand four hundred and sixty dollars and fourteen 
cents. If they give the figures they must give them cor 
rectly. If I am charged with presenting a claim against 
the Government for two thousand four hundred and sixty 
dollars, that is not substantiated by showing that I presented 
a claim for two thousand seven hundred dollars. If you give 
the figures you must stand by the figures, and you are 
bound by them. You cannot charge one thing and prove 
something else. This is a fatal variance. 

In addition to this fact, we find the deductions for fail 
ures in that very quarter amounted to five hundred and 
forty dollars and forty-two cents, and this deducted from 
the other amount leaves two thousand, two hundred and 
eleven dollars and seventy-two cents. So that in both cases 
the variance is absolutely fatal. I am showing you these 
things, gentlemen, so that you may see that there is in this 
case no evidence to fit the charges in this indictment. 

44140, Eugene City to Bridge Creek. It is charged that 
Peck and Dorsey presented a false account for the third 
quarter of 1879 for four thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-three dollars and ninety-nine cents. The pay for 
three trips with expedition was four thousand, six hundred 
and eighty-nine dollars and twenty-two cents ; the pay for 
one trip on the old schedule was six hundred and seventeen 
dollars, a difference of four thousand and seventy-two dol- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 79 

lars and twenty-two cents. The Government says the 
difference was four thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
three dollars and ninety-nine cents, an absolutely fatal 
variance. 

Now, as a matter of fact, there were deductions in that 
quarter of one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two dol 
lars and eighty-three cents, and this is deducted from the 
entire pay, leaving only as a claim three thousand seven 
hundred and sixty-six dollars and thirty-nine cents. And 
yet the Government charges that we presented a false 
claim for four thousand seven hundred and eighty-three 
dollars and forty-nine cents. It will not do. It is a fatal 
variance. But when we take into consideration that there 
is no claim that the increase of trips was fraudulent, only 
the expedition, and that by the old schedule one trip came 
to six hundred and seventeen dollars, that three trips came 
to one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one dollars, and 
that added to deductions would make three thousand seven 
hundred and seventy -three dollars and eighty-three cents, 
to be deducted from four thousand six hundred and eighty- 
nine dollars and twenty-two cents, it would leave as a 
fraudulent claim, even if their claim was true, nine hundred 
and fifteen dollars and thirty-nine cents. 

Now, the next is 44155, The Dalles to Baker City. The 
false claim was eight thousand eight hundred and ninety- 
six dollars, by Peck. The pay per quarter was sixteen 
thousand six hundred and sixty-six dollars and nine 
cents. The pay for three trips and expedition was 
seven thousand seven hundred and seventy dollars a dif 
ference of eight thousand eight hundred and ninety-six 
dollars and nine cents. But there were deductions, ninety- 
nine dollars and thirty-four cents, leaving eight thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-six dollars and seventy-five cents. 
But by making this claim the Government concedes that 
the expedition was legal, and another trouble is thr.t the 



80 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

payment on this route was made to Vaile, not to Peck or 
Miner. It was made to Vaile, who was the subcontractor 
for the full amount, and this is another fatal variance. 

Now, route 46132, Julian to Colton. The charge is that 
Peck and Vaile presented a fraudulent claim for the third 
quarter of 1879, f r one thousand six hundred and fifty 
seven dollars and seventy-one cents. The pay for three 
trips and expedition is one thousand nine hundred and 
fifty-four dollars and seventy-one cents. For three trips on 
the old schedule it was eight hundred and ninety-one 
dollars, a difference of one thousand and sixty-three dollars 
and seventy-three cents. A fatal variance. Besides it was 
not Peck and Vaile. Vaile was the subcontractor at full 
rates on this route. He presented the claim. He received 
the entire pay. Another variance. Route 44160, Canyon 
City to Camp McDermitt. The charge is that Peck and 
Vaile presented a false account for the fourth quarter of 
1879, for eleven thousand eight hundred and nineteen dol 
lars and sixty-six cents. It is charged in the indictment 
that this was paid in pursuance of the order set out in the 
indictment, and we find on page sixty-four that the order 
was dated July 16, 1880. That was the order. No such 
payment was made in pursuance of that order for the rea 
son that an order was made nearly a year afterwards, and 
the order of July 16, 1880, as set out in the indictment, was 
not retrospective, a fatal mistake in their indictment. As 
a matter of fact, the pay for the fourth quarter of 1879 was 
five thousand three hundred and seventy-five dollars. 
There were deductions to the amount of three hundred and 
fifty-two dollars and seventy-two cents and the balance was 
five thousand and twenty-two dollars and twenty-eight 
cents, instead of eleven thousand eight hundred and nine 
teen dollars and sixty-six cents. And this was paid to 
Vaile, who was a subcontractor at full rates, and the vari 
ance in the case is absurd and fatal. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 8l 

Route 46247, Redding to Alturas. The charge is that 
Peck and Dorsey filed a fraudulent account for the third 
quarter of 1879 for seven thousand four hundred and 
eighty-five dollars and six cents. This was in pursuance 
of the order set out in the indictment, and the only order 
set out in the indictment is dated February n, 1881. That 
is another fatal variance. 

The next route is 35051, Bismarck to Miles City. The 
charge is that Miner and Vaile presented a false account 
for the fourth quarter of 1879, f r fourteen thousand one 
hundred. The pay for the quarter for six trips was 
seventeen thousand five hundred dollars. For three trips 
under the old order the pay was eight thousand seven 
hundred and fifty dollars, leaving eight thousand seven 
hundred and fifty dollars as the outside sum that could 
have been fraudulent, and yet the Government charges 
fourteen thousand one hundred dollars, an absolutely fatal 
variance. Besides that, there were deductions in that very 
quarter of four thousand five hundred and three dollars. 
This amount deducted from eight thousand seven hundred 
and fifty dollars leaves four thousand two hundred and 
fifty-six dollars and eleven cents as the greatest amount 
that could by any possibility have been fraudulent. 

Three routes are lumped together next in the indictment, 
38134, 38135, 38140, 38134, Pueblo to Rosita; 38135, 
Pueblo to Greenhorn ; and 38,140, Trinidad to Madison. 

The charge here is on page eighty-one of the indictment 
that Miner presented a fraudulent account for the fourth 
quarter of 1879 on all the routes amounting to two thousand 
seven hundred and seventy-six dollars and forty-seven 
cents. 

The greatest possible difference that could be made on 
route 38135 is seven hundred and sixty-seven dollars and 
twenty cents. The greatest difference that could be made on 
route 38134 is one thousand nine hundred and forty dollars. 



82 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

The greatest difference that could be made on route 38140 is 
six hundred and eighty-nine dollars and fifty-one cents. These 
three differences added together do not make what is charged 
in the indictment, three thousand seven hundred and seventy- 
six dollars and forty-seven cents, but as a matter of fact they 
amount to three thousand three hundred and ninety-six 
dollars and seventy-one cents. This cannot be the fraudulent 
claim described in the indictment. 

But I find that on the first route there was a reduction of 
twelve dollars and sixty cents, on the second route of one 
hundred and fifty-four dollars and thirty-eight cents, and on 
the third of thirty-eight dollars and two cents, and these de 
ductions added together make two hundred and five dollars 
and ninety cents, and deducted from the three thousand three 
hundred and ninety-six dollars and seventy-one cents leaves 
three thousand one hundred and ninety dollars and eighty-one 
cents. And yet the Government charges that the fraudulent 
claim was two thousand seven hundred and seventy -six dollars 
and forty-seven cents. It is impossible that the amount of 
the claim said to be fraudulent by the Government can be 
correct ; but, as a matter of fact, according to the evidence, 
there was no fraud upon any claim in that route. 

The next is route 38150, Saguache to Lake City. The 
charge is that Miner presented a false account for two thousand 
two hundred and two dollars and seventy-seven cents, and 
that he did this in pursuance of the order set out in the indict 
ment, and the only order set out is dated August 24, 1880. 
That is an absolutely fatal variance. As a matter of fact, San 
derson was a subcontractor on this route from July i, 1878, at 
full rates, and he carried the mail from July i, 1878. The 
route was expedited on his oath and for his benefit. No point 
was made during the trial that the oath was not true. And 
the pay was calculated upon Sanderson's oath, and the money 
paid to him. The only claim is that there was an error in the 
order of four thousand five hundred and sixty eight dollars 
per year, and it is admitted that the mistake was afterwards 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 83 

corrected and the money refunded. You remember it, gen 
tlemen. Mr. Turner, in making up the account showing how 
much the expedition would come to and you understand the 
way in which they make up that expedition made a mistake 
and added to the expedition and the then schedule the amount 
of the then schedule, four thousand and odd dollars. He 
made the mistake and it was honestly made. No man would 
dishonestly do it because it was so easy of detection, and that 
was his only fault, gentlemen. The only crime he ever com 
mitted in this case was to make that mistake. That mistake 
was afterwards discovered, and the money was paid back by 
Mr. Sanderson ; and, yet, that man has been indicted, has been 
taken from his home charged with a crime. He has been 
pursued as though he were a wild beast. He made one mis 
take. They could not prove the slightest thing against him. 
There was no evidence touching him. There was only one 
way for them, and that was to dismiss him with an insult. You 
remember the case. Not one thing against that man not one 
single thing. He stands as clear of any charge in this indict 
ment as any one upon this jury. He is an honest man. It is 
admitted now there was no conspiracy on this route either. It 
is Sanderson's route, not ours. Not only that, but the Govern 
ment says that it was not one of the routes with which Vaile 
had anything to do, or in which Vaile had any possible inter 
est. The failure here is fatal to the indictment, and I shall 
endeavor to show that it is fatal to the entire case. 

The next route is 35105, Vermillion to Sioux Falls. It is 
charged that Vaile and Dorsey presented a false account for 
the third quarter of 1879, for eight hundred and eighty-one 
dollars and fourteen cents. The pay for six trips and expe 
dition was one thousand and eighty-five dollars and fifty-eight 
cents. The pay for two trips on the old schedule was two 
hundred and four dollars and forty-four cents, showing a 
balance for once, as stated in the indictment it being the 
only time of eight hundred and eighty-one dollars and four-' 
teen cents. Parties are entitled to pay for the extra trips, and 



84 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAF ROUTE TRIAL. 

the number of men and horses has nothing to do with the 
iralue of an extra trip. You understand that. If I agree to 
carry the mail once a week for five thousand dollars a quarter, 
and you wanted me to carry it twice a week, then I get ten 
thousand dollars a quarter, no matter if I do it with the same 
horses and the same men. That is not the Government's 
business. You all understand that, do you not ? Every time 
you increase a trip you increase the pay to the exact extent of 
that trip, no matter whether it takes more horses or not. If I 
agree to carry the mail once a month for five thousand dollars 
a year, and you want me to carry it once a week I am entitled 
to twenty thousand dollars, no matter if I do it with all the 
same men and same horses. It is nobody's business. But, if 
the Government wants the mail carried faster, then I am 
entitled to pay according to the men and animals required at a 
more rapid rate. You all understand that. But as a matter 
of fact, upon this route, Vaile was the subcontractor at full 
rates, was so recognized by the Government and received 
every dollar himself, and, consequently, the charge that it was 
paid to John W. Dorsey is not true, and is a fatal variance. 
The Government proved it was paid to Vaile. 

Next we have two routes, 38145, Ojo Caliente to Parrot 
City, and 38156, Silverton to Parrot City. These routes are 
put together in the indictment. It is charged that a false 
account was presented of six thousand and four dollars and 
seventeen cents, and that this was done in pursuance of an 
order set out in the indictment. The order set out is on page 
forty-seven. It is in relation to route 38145. The order was 
made not in relation to the other route. No order as to the 
other route was made. This was made February 26, 1881, 
consequently the claim presented for the third quarter of 1879 
could not by any possibility have been in pursuance of that 
order. That order was made in 1881. The payment for the 
third quarter of 1879 could not by any possibility have been 
made in pursuance of that order. The evidence shows that it 
was paid before, and consequently there is a fatal variance. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 85 

Routes 40104, Mineral Park to Pioche, and 40113, Wilcox 
to Clifton two routes put together. The charge is a fraudu 
lent presentation for the third quarter of 1879, of seven thou 
sand and sixty-four dollars and seventy-two cents. The pay 
on the first route was ten thousand five hundred and three 
dollars and sixty-two cents, on the second route three thou 
sand five hundred and twenty-eight dollars. No proof has 
been offered that the expedition was fraudulent. Not a witness 
was called on route 40113. Not a solitary petition was ob 
jected to, the truth of no oath was called in question, the 
honesty of no order was attacked, and how can you say that 
the claim was fraudulent ? No order attacked, no oath ques 
tioned, no petition impeached. The only evidence upon these 
two routes was something read in regard to productiveness 
and the size of the mail, and that is all. 

Route 38113, Rawlins to White River. The charge is that 
John W. Dorsey and Rerdell presented a false account for the 
third quarter of 1879 for two thousand nine hundred and 
seventy-five dollars. The order set out in the indictment was 
made March 8, 1881, consequently the variance is absolutely 
fatal, and there is no allegation in the indictment that the 
expedition was fraudulent. 

Now I have gone through every route with the payments. 
As to the general allegation of the amount of money fraudu 
lently claimed and received, the allegation in the indictment is 
that J. W. Dorsey received, by virtue of these fraudulent 
orders, made in pursuance of the conspiracy, brought to per 
fection by these overt acts, for the year ending the 3oth day of 
June, 1880, one hundred and twenty -four thousand five 
hundred and ninety- one dollars. Good. The evidence shows 
that there was paid on the seven Dorsey routes in all sixty- 
two thousand eight hundred and thirty-one dollars and forty- 
six cents. That is fatal as to that. 

But we will go further. One of|these routes was turned 
over to Vaile by Dorsey, route 35015, and the amount paid 
to Vaile was two thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven 



86 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

dollars and sixteen cents. So that the amount paid on the 
Dorsey routes, instead of being one hundred and twenty-four 
thousand five hundred and ninety-one dollars, was in truth and 
in fact fifty-eight thousand nine hundred and ninety-four 
dollars and thirty cents. 

Now, the charge is that this was all received by John W. 
Dorsey, whereas the evidence shows that John W. Dorsey 
received three warrants, two for eighty-seven dollars each, 
both of which were recouped, and one warrant for three 
hundred and ninety-two dollars, and that is every cent he ever 
received, according to the evidence in this case. There is 
what you might call a discrepancy. The indictment says he 
got one hundred and twenty -four thousand five hundred and 
ninety-one dollars. The evidence shows that he got three 
hundred and ninety-two dollars and not another copper. I 
shall insist that that is a variance. If it is not a variance, I 
will take my oath it is a difference. 

The second claim is that John R. Miner received upon 
the routes awarded to him, and claimed to be his in the 
indictment, ninety-three thousand and sixty-seven dollars 
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880. The evidence is 
that as a matter of fact on all these routes the money was paid 
to assignees and subcontractors, and that John R. Miner 
as a fact, received not one cent from the Government. 

The third charge is that Peck received for the same fiscal 
year one hundred and eight-seven thousand four hun 
dred and thirty-eight dollars. The evidence shows that he 
received nothing. There is another difference. Thus it 
will be seen that every link in the chain in this indictment 
is either a mistake or a falsehood. Every other one is a 
mistake and then every other one is a falsehood, and this 
indictment was made by adding mistakes to falsehoods, and 
what the indictment weaves the evidence reveals. 

Now, why were these dates put in this indictment, gentle 
men ? We have now gone over every overt act charged in 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 87 

this indictment. The result is that not one of the charges 
set forth has really been sustained. Hereafter I will notice 
some things that have been proved outside of the indict 
ment. Nearly every petition and letter is admitted to have 
been honest and genuine. Those that have been attacked 
were misdescribed in the indictment and the evidence has 
shown that they were substantially true. There is a fatal 
variance between the allegation and the proof so far as 
these charges in the indictment are concerned, and they are 
left absolutely without a prop. The dates attached to the 
overt acts are false. There is only one of the routes in 
which the petitions are properly described, and that is route 
44140, where the petitions are alleged to have been and were 
filed on the 23d of May, and every one was proved to have 
been genuine and honest. The dates in the indictment were 
false. Now, why ? Let me tell you, gentlemen. They had 
to deceive the grand jury. It would not do to tell the grand 
jury these men conspired on the 23d of May, and in pursu 
ance to that conspiracy filed some affidavits on the third day 
preceding. They had first to deceive the grand jury and put 
in false dates for the filing of petitions, for the filing of sub 
contracts and for the drawing of money. What else did they 
want these false dates for ? To deceive the Circuit Court, or 
rather the Supreme Court to deceive his Honor, because if 
the date of these petitions, the date of these oaths, had been 
set forth in the indictment it would have been bad. The Court 
would have instantly said, you cannot prove a conspiracy on 
the 23d of May by showing acts in April previous. So these 
false dates were put in, in the first place, to fool the grand 
jury, and in the next place to keep this Court in the dark. It 
was necessary to have a good charge on paper, and why ? Did 
they expect to win this case on that indictment ? No ; but 
they could keep it in court long enough to allow them to at 
tack and malign the character of these defendants ; they could 
keep it in court long enough to vent their venom and spleen 



88 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

upon good and honest men, and justify in part the commence 
ment of this prosecution. 

This forenoon I tried to strip the green leaves off the tree 
of this indictment. Now I propose to attack the principal 
limbs and trunk. What is the scheme of this indictment ? I 
insist that the law is precisely the same as to the scheme of 
the conspiracy in its description that it is as to the description 
of an overt act. Now, what is the scheme of this indictment? 
That is to say, the scheme of this conspiracy ? We want to 
know what we are doing. It is the great bulwark of human 
liberty that the charge against a man must be in writing, and 
must be truthfully described. 

First. For the defendants, with the exception of the officers 
Brady and Turner, to write, and procure the writing of, fraudu 
lent letters, communications, and applications. Now, let us 
be honest. Is there the slightest evidence that a fraudulent 
letter was ever written ? Is there the slightest evidence that a 
fraudulent communication was ever sent to the department? 
Not the slightest evidence. 

Second. To attach to said petitions and applications forged 
names. Is there any evidence of that except in one case, and 
the evidence in that case is that the order was made before the 
petition was received and that the petition was never acted up 
on. More than that, is there any evidence as to who forged 
any names to any petitions ? Not the slightest. Which of 
these defendants are you going to find guilty upon that peti 
tion when there is not the slightest evidence as to who wrote 
it ? What next ? To have these petitions signed by fictitious 
names or with the names of persons not residing upon the 
routes. Is there any evidence of that kind ? Is there any 
evidence that the signatures of real persons were attached, and 
the real persons did not live upon the routes ? I leave it to 
you, gentlemen. 

Fourth. To make and procure false oaths, declarations, and 
statements. Those I shall examine. 

Fifth. For William H. Turner falsely to indorse on the back 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 89 

of these jackets false brief statements of the contents of genuine 
petitions. You know what has become of that charge, gentle 
men. 

This indictment against Turner has been changed into a 
certificate of good moral character. That is the end of the 
indictment, so far as he is concerned, and I am glad of it. He 
is a man who fought to keep the flag of my country in the air, 
and who lay upon the field of Gettysburg sixteen days with 
the lead of the enemy in his body, and I am glad to have the 
evidence show that he was not only a patriot, but an honest 
man with a spotless reputation. I do not think that, in order 
to be a great man, you have got to be as cold as an icicle. I 
do not think that if you wish to be like God (if there is one) 
it is necessary to be heartless. That is not my judgment. 
When I find that a man is honest I am glad of it. When I 
find that a patriot has been sustained my heart throbs in 
unison with his. What is the next? That Brady, for the 
benefit, gain, and profit of all the defendants and I em 
phasize the word all because upon that I am going to cite to 
the court a little law made fraudulent orders ; that is, for the 
benefit of Turner, Brady, and everybody else. Eighth. That 
he caused these fraudulent orders to be certified to the 
Auditor of the Treasury for the Post-Office Department. 
Ninth. That Brady refused to enter fines against these con 
tractors when they failed to perform their service ; that he 
fraudulently refused to impose these fines. What is the 
evidence ? The evidence is that the whole amount of fines 
imposed by Brady was one hundred and twenty-six thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-five dollars and eighty cents. That 
evidence is given in support of the charge that he refused to 
impose them, yet the imposition amounts to one hundred and 
twenty-six thousand dollars. How much of that vast sum did 
he relieve the contractors from upon the evidence? Twenty- 
three thousand dollars, leaving standing of fines that were 
paid, one hundred and three thousand six hundred and 
seventy dollars and twelve cents. That evidence is offered to 



90 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

show that he conspired not to impose the fines. One hundred 
and twenty-six thousand dollars imposed in fines, and only 
twenty-three thousand dollars remitted. Yet the charge was, 
and an argument has been made upon it before this jury, that 
the contractors agreed that he was to have fifty per cent, of all 
fines that he took off. Think of a man making that contract 
with a man having power to impose the fines. "Now, all 
you will take off I will give you fifty per cent, of." There is 
an old story that a friend of a man who was bitten by a dog 
said to him, " If you will take some bread and sop it in the 
blood and give it to the dog it will cure the bite." " Yes," 
he says ; "but, my God, suppose the other dogs should hear 
of it?" Think of putting yourself in the power of a man 
who has the right to fine you. And yet that is a part of the 
logic of this prosecution. The next charge is of fraudulently 
cutting off service and then fraudulently starting it and allow 
ing a month's extra pay. That happened, I believe, in two 
cases thirty dollars in one case and something more in the 
other. 

The COURT. Thirty-nine dollars. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Then the case is nine dollars better than I 
thought. Twelfth. By the defendants fraudulently filing, 
subcontracts. That I have already shown is an impossible 
offence. All these things were done for the purpose of de 
ceiving the Postmaster- General. Now, the Court has already 
intimated that we have no right to say that the Postmaster- 
General would be a good witness to show whether he was de 
ceived or not, and that it may be that his eyes were sealed so 
tightly that he has not got them open yet. But whether they 
can prove it by him or by somebody else they have got to 
prove it in order to make out this case. 

That is the scheme of this indictment. It makes no differ 
ence whether the Postmaster General has found out that he 
was deceived or not. The jury have got to find it out before 
they find a verdict against the defendants. It is possible that 
the Postmaster- General thinks he was not deceived or that he 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. QI 

was ; I do not know what his opinion is and do not care. 
They have got to prove it by somebody. I do not say they 
can prove it by him. I do not know. This is the scheme, 
and what I insist is that this scheme must be substantiated and 
must be proved precisely as it has been laid without the varia 
tion of a hair. You must prove it as you have charged it, and 
you must charge it as you prove it. It is simply a double 
statement. I wish to submit some authorities to the Court up 
on this question : Must the exact scheme be proved ? First, 
I will refer the court to the tenth edition of Starkie, page 
627 : * * * 

" It is a most general rule that no allegation which is descriptive of 
the identity of that which is legally essential to the claim or charge 
can ever be rejected. * * * As an absolute and natural identity of 
the claim or charge alleged with that proved consists in the agree 
ment between them in all particulars, so their legal identity con 
sists in their agreement in all the particulars legally essential to sup 
port the charge or claim, and the identity of those particulars depends 
wholly upon the proof of the allegation and circumstances by which 
they are ascertained, limited and described." 

No matter whether the description was necessary or un 
necessary : 

"To reject any allegation descriptive of that which is essential to a 
charge or a claim would obviously tend to mislead the adversary. 
* * * It seems, indeed, to be a universal rule that a plaintiff or 
prosecutor shall in no case be allowed* to transgress those limits 
which in point of description, limitation, and extent he has pre 
scribed for himself ; he selects his own terms in order to express the 
nature and extent of his charge or claim, he cannot therefore justly 
complain that he is limited by them. * * * As no allegation therefore 
which is descriptive of any fact or matter which is legally essential to 
the claim or charge can be rejected altogether, inasmuch as the 
variance destroys the legal identity of the claim or charge alleged 
with that which is proved, upon the same principle no allegation can 
be proved partially in respect to the extent or magnitude where the 
precise extent or magnitude is in its nature descriptive of the charge 
or claim." 

Nothing can be plainer than that. I refer also to Starkie 
on Evidence, yth American edition, vol. i, page 442. There 
he says : 

"In the next place it is clear that no averment of any matter 



92 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

essential to the claim or charge can ever be rejected, and this 
position extends to all allegations which operate by way of descrip 
tion or limitation of that which is material." 

I also cite Russell on Crimes, 9th American edition, vol. 3, 
page 305, and Roscoe's Criminal Evidence, yth edition, 
page 86. 

I now call the attention of the Court to the case of Rex vs. 
Pollman and others, 2 Campbell, 239. I may say before 
reading this decision that, in my judgment, so far as the 
scheme of this indictment is concerned, it should end this 
case : 

"This was an indictment against the defendants which charged 
that they unlawfully and corruptly did meet, combine, conspire, 
consult, consent and agree among themselves and together, with 
divers other evil-disposed persons, to the jurors unknown, unlawfully 
and corruptly to procure, obtain, receive, have and take, namely, to 
the use of them, the said F. P., J. K. and S. H., and of certain other 
persons to the jurors likewise unknown, large sums of money, namely, 
the sum of two thousand pounds, as a compensation and reward for 
an appointment to be made by the lord's commissioners of the 
treasury of our lord the king of some person to a certain office, 
touching and concerning His Majesty's customs, to wit, the office of 
a coast waiter in the port of London, through the corrupt means and 
procurement of them, the said F. P., J. K. and S. H., and of certain 
other persons to the jurors unknown, the said office then and there 
being an office of public trust, touching the landing and shipping 
coastwise of divers goods liable to certain duties of custom." 

The indictment went on and stated various overt acts in 
furtherance of the conspiracy. 

" There were several other counts which all laid the conspiracy in 
the same way." 

Now I come to the part of the case which, in my judgment, 
affects this : 

" It appears that the defendants Pollman, Keylock and Harvey had 
entered into a negotiation with one Hesse to procure him the office 
mentioned in the indictment for the sum of two thousand pounds, 
which they had agreed to share among themselves in certain stipu 
lated proportions ; but although this money was lodged at the bank 
ing house of Steyks, Snaith & Co. , in which the defendant Watson 
was a partner, and he knew it was to be paid to Pollman and Key 
lock upon Hesse's appointment, there was no evidence to show that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 93 

he knew that Sarah Harvey was to have a part of it, or that she was 
at all implicated in the transaction." 

He was a co-conspirator, and he knew that the money was 
to be deposited at this place. 

He knew that, but he did not know that Sarah Harvey was 
to have a part of it. 

" Lord Ellenborough threw out a doubt whether as to Watson the 
indictment was supported by the evidence." 

The evidence being that Watson did not know that it was 
to be divided in the precise way stated in the indictment. 
Manifestly, they need not have stated in the indictment how 
it was to be divided ; but having stated it, the question is: 
Are they bound by the statement? Let us see : 

"The attorney-general contended that the words in italics coming 
under a videlicet might be entirely rejected. The sense would be 
complete without them. The indictment would then run that the 
defendants conspired together to obtain a large sum of money as a 
consideration and reward for appointment to be made by the lord's 
commissioners of the treasury. This was the corpus delicti. The use 
to which the money might be applied was wholly immaterial. The 
offence of conspiring logether would be complete however the money 
might be disposed of." 

True. 

"There was no occasion to state this, and the averment might be 
.treated as surplusage. Suppose the manner in which the money was 
to be disposed of had been unknown. Would it have been impos 
sible to convict those engaged in the conspiracy ? But, without re 
jecting the words, the variance was immaterial. The charge in the 
indictment had been substantially made out as laid. 

" Dallas and Walton, of counsel for Watson, denied that the words 
could be rejected, though laid under a videlicet, as they were 
material, and they were not repugnant to anything that went before. 
The application of the money might be of the very essence of the 
offence. Suppose it had been obtained for the use of the lords of 
the treasury, who would make the appointment : would not this be a 
much greater crime than if the money had been obtained for the 
benefit of a public charity ? " 

I think that reasoning is bad. I think the crime is exactly 
the same. 

" But if the words were rejected then the variance was more pal 
pable. In that case, there being no mention of any persons to whose 



94 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

use the money was obtained, the necessary presumption was that it 
was obtained to the use of the defendants themselves." 

That is good sense. 

"The evidence shows, however, that Watson was to have no part 
of it, and that he was utterly ignorant of the manner in which it was 
to be distributed. 

"Lord ELLENBOROUGH. There can be no doubt that the indict 
ment might have been so drawn as to include Watson in the con 
spiracy. Even if the manner the money to be applied was unknown, 
this might have been stated on the face of the indictment, and then 
no evidence of its application would have been required. The 
question is, whether the conspiracy as actually laid be proved by the 
evidence?" 

That is the question : Have they made out a case accord 
ing to the scheme of the indictment ? Has the conspiracy as 
laid been proved by the evidence ? 

" I think that as to Watson it is not. He is charged with conspir 
ing to procure this appointment through the medium of Mrs. Harvey, 
of whose existence for aught that appears he was utterly ignorant. 
When a conspiracy is charged it must be charged truly." 

He did not know that Mrs. Harvey was to have a portion of 
the money, and yet she was a member of the conspiracy. The 
evidence showed that she was to have a portion of it, and Lord 
Ellenborough says that they did not prove the charge as laid, 
and that it cannot include Watson. 

" Garrow submitted that it was unnecessary to prove that each of 
the defendants knew how the money was to be disposed of, and that 
it was enough to show that the destination of the money was as 
stated in the indictment. A fact of which all those engaged in the 
conspiracy must be taken to be cognizant. Watson by engaging 
with the other conspirators to gain the same end, had adopted the 
means by which the end was to be accomplished." 

That is what the attorney for the Government says. Lord 
Ellenborough replies : 

" You must prove that all the defendants were cognizant of the 
object of the conspiracy and the mode stated in the indictment by 
which it was to be carried into effect. A contrary doctrine would be 
extremely dangerous. The defendant Watson must be acquitted." 

Now let us apply that case to this. In the first place, 
they must not only prove this indictment according to the 
scheme, but they must prove that every defendant understood 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 95 

that scheme, knew the scheme, how it was to be accomplished 
and what was done with the money. 

The COURT. In that case Watson was acquitted. What was 
done with the others ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. They, of course, were found guilty, be 
cause they were guilty, as the indictment charged. They 
knew the exact scheme set forth in the indictment. They 
were guilty exactly as the indictment said. They divided 
the money exactly as the indictment charged they divided the 
money, and they were cognizant of every fact set forth in the 
indictment. But Watson, although a co-conspirator, did not 
know what was to be done with the money, and consequently 
was to be discharged. Why ? Because they did not prove 
the conspiracy as to him as charged. They need not have 
set forth in the indictment what was to be done with the 
money, but they did set it forth, and then they had to 
prove it. They need not have said that every man knew what 
was done with 'the money, but they did say that every man 
knew, and they failed to prove it, and when they failed to prove 
it as to Watson he was discharged. 

Now, gentlemen of the jury, what I insist upon and what I 
shall ask the Court to instruct you is that the Government, no 
matter how guilty the defendant may be, no matter if he has 
robbed this Government of hundreds of millions, is to be tried 
by this indictment, is to be guilty of this charge as written in 
this indictment and nowhere else ; and he has got to under 
stand it. They say he understood it, and they have got to 
prove that he understood it. 

Now, upon that same subject they say that the money was 
to be divided between all these parties between Rerdell, 
Turner and everybody. I think it was Mr. Bliss who said 
there was no evidence that Rerdell ever had any of the money. 
Certainly they do not think that Turner obtained any of the 
money. Is there any evidence of it ? Not the slightest. Is 
there evidence that there ever was any division, any evidence 
that there was ever any money divided upon a solitary route 



96 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

mentioned in this indictment? Not one particle. If you say 
there is evidence, when was the division made ? 

The COURT. The question is not what was done. The 
question is with what view the conspiracy was entered into. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Certainly. 

The COURT. The object of the conspiracy may have failed, 
and this money might not have been divided as they intended, 
but still the conspiracy would be here. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Good, perfectly. But if they set forth in 
this indictment that the money was divided, that statement is 
not worth a last year's dead leaf unless they prove it. That 
is all I insist upon. You cannot find anybody guilty of 
charges in an indictment unless you prove them. Unless you 
prove them they amount to no more than charges written in 
water, than characters engraved on fog or written on clouds. 
You have got to prove them. 

Now, upon this same point I say that if the scheme has not 
been established by the evidence, the case fails, no matter 
what the proof. The offence must not only be proved as 
charged, but it must be charged as proved, doubling the 
statement for the sake of doubling the idea of accuracy. That 
is in Archibald's Criminal Pleadings, American edition, page 
36. The same thing is held in First Chitty's Criminal Law, 
213. I also refer to the case of King against Walker, 3d 
Campbell, 264 ; King vs. Robinson, ist Hope's Nisi Prius 
Reports, 595. I have the books here, but I will not take up 
the time of this Court in reading them. 

Now, if I am right, that is the language of that indictment. 
The overt acts with the leaves are gone ; the scheme with the 
branch and trunk are gone. They prove no such scheme, 
they prove no such division. 

I will now proceed to examine the alleged evidence against 
my clients, Stephen W. and John W. Dorsey, and I want to 
say right in the commencement that suspicion is not evidence. 
You charge that a couple of persons conspired. That they 
met about nine o'clock on the shadowy side of the street. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 97 

A suspicious circumstance. Why did they not get tinder the 
lamp ? They were seen together once more, and the moment 
a man came up they walked off. GUILTY. They ran. And 
out of these idiotic suspicions that never would have entered 
the mind, except for the reason that the persons were charged, 
hundreds of people begin to say, ' ' There is something in it. 
They met four or five times. One of them wrote a letter to 
the other, and so help me God it was not dated." Another 
suspicious circumstance. ' ' There was a heading on the paper. 
It was not the number of his office." So they work it up, 
and ignorance begins to stare, and wonder to open its mouth, 
and finally prejudice finds a verdict. 

Suspicion, gentlemen, is not evidence. You want to go at 
this with this idea. Whatever a man does, the presumption 
is it is an honest act until the contrary is shown. These men 
wrote letters. They had a right to do it. They met. They 
had a right to meet. They entered into contracts. They had 
a right to do it, no matter whether they were dated or not 
dated. One of the greatest judges of England said if you let 
out of the greatest man's brains all the suspicions, all the 
rumors, all the mistakes, and all the nonsense, the amount of 
pure knowledge left would be extremely small. If you take 
out of this case all the suspicions, all the guesses, all the 
rumors, all the epithets, all the arrogant declarations, the 
amount of real evidence would be surprisingly small. 

Now, I want to try this case that way. I do not want to 
try it by prejudice. Prejudice is born of ignorance and 
malice. One of the greatest men of this country said prej 
udice is the spider of the mind. It weaves its web over every 
window and over every crevice where light can enter, anc 4 
then disputes the existence of the light that it has excluded. 
That is prejudice. Prejudice will give the lie to all the other 
senses. It will swear the northern star out of the sky of 
truth. You must avoid it. It is the womb of injustice, and a 
man who cannot rise above prejudice is not a civilized man ; 
Jie is simply a barbarian. I do not want this case tried on 



98 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

prejudice. Prejudice will shut its eyes against the light. I 
want you to try it without that. 

And right here, although it is a subject about which most 
courts are a little tender, the question arises as to the jury 
being judges of the law and fact. One of the attorneys for 
the Government, Mr. Merrick, told us that at one time he 
insisted that the jury was the judge of the law, and made this 
remarkable declaration : 

"But even at the time I spoke the words to the jury I did not 
believe them to be indicative of safe and true principles of law." 

Was he candid then ? Is he candid now ? I do not know. 
But his doctrine appears to be this: " When I am afraid of the 
court I insist on the jury judging the law. When I am afraid 
of the jury I turn the law over to the court. But in this case, 
having confidence in both judge and jury, it is wholly im 
material to me how the question is decided." 

Now, if it please the Court, I believe the law to be simply 
this : I believe the jury to be absolute judges of the facts, and 
yet if on the facts they find a man guilty whom the court 
thinks is not guilty, the court will grant a new trial. The 
court Has the power to set aside a verdict because the jury 
find contrary to the evidence. The court cannot do it, how 
ever, when the jury finds a verdict of not guilty. I do not 
believe that the jury have a right to disregard the law from 
the court unless a juryman upon his oath can say that he 
believes, he knows, or is satisfied that is not the law ; and he 
must be honest in that, and he must not be acting upon 
caprice. He must be absolutely honest. He must be in that 
condition of mind that to follow the law pointed out by the 
court would trample upon his conscience, and that he has not 
the right to do. That is all the distance I go. 

The history of the world will show that some of the grand 
est advances made in law have been made by juries who 
would not allow their consciences to be trampled into the 
earth by tyrannical judges. I am not saying that for this case. 
I am simply saying that as a fact. There was a time in this 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 99 

country when they used to try a man who helped another 
to gain his liberty, and there was now and then a man on the 
jury who had sense enough, and heart enough, and con 
science enough to say, " I will die before I carry out that 
kind of law." They did not carry it out either, and finally 
the law became so contemptible, so execrable, that everybody 
despised it. All I ask this jury to do is just to be governed 
by the evidence and by the law as the Court will give it to 
them, honestly and fairly. 

Now, I am coming to the evidence against John W. Dorsey. 
I am traveling through this case now we have started it. As 
you have heard very little about it, gentlemen, and there is 
nothing in the world like speaking on a fresh subject. I feet 
an interest in John W. Dorsey. He is my client. I believe 
him to be an absolutely honest man. He is willing to take the 
effect of all his acts. He is no sneak, no skulk. He will take 
it as it is. Let us see what he has done. 

The first witness is Mr. Boone. Mr. Boone swears that 
John W. Dorsey was one of the original partners. Well, that 
is so. It is claimed that the conspiracy was entered into 
before there was any bidding. Well, Boone does not uphold 
that view. Now, if Boone and Miner and John W. Dorsey 
and Peck had an arrangement with Brady whereby they were 
to bid and then have expedition and increase, I want to ask 
you why did Boone write to all the postmasters to find out 
about the roads and the cost of provender, and the kind of 
weather they had in the winter in order to ascertain what bid 
to make ? If he had had an arrangement with the Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General to expedite the route he would 
have simply made up his mind to bid lower than anybody 
else, and he would not have cared a cent what kind of roads 
they had there, or what kind of weather they had in the 
winter, or how much horse provender cost, and yet he sent 
out thousands of circulars to find out these facts. For what ? 
To make bids. What for? According to the Government 
these were routes on which they had already conspired for 



100 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

expedition and increase without the slightest reference to the 
horses and men, and of course, if that theory is true, Boone is 
one of the conspirators. But I will come to that hereafter. 

More routes, according to Boone' s testimony, were awarded 
than they anticipated. They got, I think, one hundred and 
twenty-six. They had no money to stock the routes. They 
got more than they expected. Well, that was not a crime. 
Boone left in August, 1878, and Mr. Merrick takes the 
ground that Boone had done the work, manipulated all the 
machinery, and yet could not be trusted with the secret. 
Boone had gathered all the information, he had done the 
entire business, and yet the secret up to that time had been 
successfully kept from him. Do you believe that ? 

Now, Vaile came, and another partnership was formed, 
and the second partnership remained in force, I think, till the 
ist of April, 1879, or the last day of March, and then the 
routes were divided. Now, then, John W. Dorsey is charged 
with conspiracy as to these routes, and these routes were 
afterwards assigned to S. W. Dorsey to secure advances and 
indorsements that were made. 

Now, of the routes mentioned in the indictment, John W. 
Dorsey was interested in seven at the time of the division. 
From Vermillion to Sioux Falls, from White River to Raw- 
lins, from Garland to Parrott City, from Ouray to Los Pinos, 
from Silverton to Parrott City, from Mineral Park to Pioche, 
and from Tres Alamos to Clifton. How much money did he 
get on all these routes? I have already shown you. He 
received two warrants for eighty-seven dollars and they 
recouped them both. He received another warrant for three 
hundred and ninety-two dollars and succeeded in keeping it. 
That is all the money he got in these seven routes. Now, 
the testimony of Mr. Vaile shows, if it shows anything, that 
after April, 1879, he took those routes and kept them and 
never paid a dollar to any official in the world, and he also 
swears that no matter how much he got, it made no difference 
as to the routes that had been given to John W. Dorsey and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. ICI 

Peck. It could not in any way affect their amount, and that 
no person in the world except themselves had any interest in 
them. 

Now, it is charged that false affidavits were made by John 
W. Dorsey, and that the making of these false affidavits was 
the result of conspiracy. Let us see. It has been shown by 
the evidence, and I have already shown it, and conclusively 
shown it, that the affidavit was substantially correct, so far as 
the proportion was concerned. 

Now, let nae explain what I mean by proportion. For 
instance, I am getting five thousand dollars a year on a route, 
and it takes five men and ten horses. That is an aggregate 
of fifteen. Now, suppose I simply expedite it a certain 
number of miles an hour, and say it will take fifteen men and 
thirty horses. That makes an aggregate of forty-five, does it 
not ? Then the Government gives me three times as much 
for the expedited service as for the then service. Now, sup 
pose I am getting a thousand dollars, and it only takes one 
man and one horse, and I make an affidavit that it takes one 
hundred men and one hundred horses, and if it is expedited it 
will take two hundred men and two hundred horses, how 
much more do I get ? I get just double, and the result of the 
affidavit is exactly the same as though I said the one man and 
one horse that it then took, and it would require two men and 
two horses. If you keep the proportion you cannot by any 
possibility commit a fraud against the Government. Now we 
understand that. Now let us see. When you make an 
affidavit, what do you do ? When you make an affidavit of 
how many horses it will take, you take into consideration the 
length of the term, three or four years. You take into con 
sideration the life of a horse. You take into consideration the 
roads and the weather. You take into consideration ever} 
risk, and find it is only a matter of judgment, only a matter of 
opinion, and the fact that men differ as to their judgment 
upon those points accounts for the fact that they make differ 
ent affidavits. If everybody made the same calculation as to 



102 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

food, as to weather, as to roads, as to disease, everybody 
would make substantially the same bid, but on the same 
route they differ thousands of dollars a year, because they 
differ in judgment as to the number of horses it will require 
and as to the number of men. 

And then there is another thing. Some men will make a 
horse do twice as much as others. Some men are hard and 
fierce and merciless. Some men are like they ask you to be 
in this case icicles. Some men resemble the gods so far that 
they will make a horse do five times the work they should, 
and other men are merciful to the dumb beast. So they differ 
in judgment. One man says he can go twenty-five miles 
every day, and another man says he can only go fifteen. One 
man says stations ought to be built twenty-five miles apart ; 
another says they should be built ten miles apart. They 
differ, and for that reason, gentlemen, the bids differ, and for 
that reason the affidavits differ. 

I shall not speak of all these affidavits, but I shall speak of 
the ones that have been attacked. Mr. Merrick called Mr. 
Dorsey a perjurer because he made two affidavits on route 
38145. Now, no such charge is made in the indictment, but 
I will answer it. Now, then, as to the two indictments 

The COURT. Two affidavits. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Two affidavits. Well, there ought to 
have been two indictments to cover both cases. Now, this is 
on route 38145, Garland to Parrott City. Now, there were 
two affidavits made on 38145, as is set forth in the evidence, 
but it is not in the indictment. The first affidavit was sworn 
to March n, 1879, in Vermont, and filed April 16, 1879. 
Neither could come in under this conspiracy anyway. The 
second was made in Washington, April 26, 1879, and filed the 
same day, which is a suspicious circumstance. The letter 
dated April 23, 1879, according to the prosecution, purports 
to transmit an affidavit made on the 26. There is no evi 
dence that the affidavit dated the 26 was inclosed in the letter 
lated the 23. The affidavit set* forth the number of men and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 10$ 

animals required to run the route on a schedule of fifty hours, 
three trips a week. There is no evidence as to the character 
of the paper transmitted, if any was transmitted, nor in fact, is 
there any evidence that any paper was transmitted with that 
letter. 

Now, on page 804 of the record, Mr. Bliss submitted two 
papers to Mr. McSweeney, a witness, saying, " I show you 
two papers pinned together." Who pinned them ? I do not 
know. "One dated April 26, 1879, an< ^ the other dated 
April 24, 1879." The paper dated April 26 is indorsed in the 
handwriting of William H. Turner. The indorsement on the 
paper dated April 24 is in the handwriting of Byron C. Coon. 
This fact shows that the papers that were read by Mr. Bliss as 
one paper and marked 17 E. were treated by the department 
as two separate papers received on separate dates, and so 
marked and so filed, and they were marked at the time they 
were identified as numbers 17 and 18. Now, the only ques 
tion is whether the last affidavit was made for the purpose of 
committing a fraud upon the Government and whether the 
change in the figures in the last affidavit were intended to or 
could in any way defraud the Government of the United 
States. 

Now, let us see what it is. Mr. Merrick charges that the 
second oath was willful perjury. In order to show that this was 
an honest transaction, and that Mr. Dorsey should be praised 
instead of blamed, I will call your intention now to the exact 
state of facts. Now, if I do not make out from this that it was 
a praiseworthy action instead of perjury, a good, honest action, 
I will abandon the case. In the first affidavit Dorsey swore 
that it would require three men and seven animals as the 
schedule then was, and that for the proposed schedule it 
would take eleven men and twenty -six animals. Now, three 
men and seven animals make ten, and eleven men and twenty- 
six animals make thirty-seven. So that by the first affidavit 
he swore that it would take three and seven-tenths more ani 
mals to carry the mail on the expedited schedule than on the 



104 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

schedule as it then was, did he not ? Three men and seven 
animals as against eleven men and twenty-six animals it would 
take three and seven-tenths more animals, consequently you 
would get for that three and seven-tenths more pay. Now, 
let us understand that. That is an increase in the ratio of ten 
to thirty-seven, and if his pay had been calculated on that 
first affidavit it would have been thirteen thousand four hun 
dred and thirty-three dollars and four cents. But it was not 
calculated on that. He made another affidavit. Now, the 
second affidavit said that it would take twenty men and ani 
mals instead of ten, as it then was, and for the expedition 
fifty-four men and animals. Now, the ratio between twenty 
and fifty-four was two and seven-tenths instead of three and 
seven-tenths, so that under that second affidavit, which they 
say was willful and corrupt perjury, he would only get eight 
thousand four hundred and fifty-seven dollars, and the change 
of that affidavit, if the amount had been calculated on the 
first instead of the second, would have cost him for the three 
years yet remaining of his term fourteen thousand nine hun 
dred and twenty-five dollars and sixty cents, and that change 
saved, exactly as if they had made the calculation on the other 
affidavit, about fifteen thousand dollars, and yet they tell me 
that that was willful and corrupt perjury. There has nothing 
been shown in the case more perfectly honorable. Nothing 
shown calculated to put John W. Dorsey in a fairer, in a 
grander light, than this very affidavit that is charged to have 
been willful perjury. Do you see ? He made the first affi 
davit, and in it he made a mistake against the Government of 
fourteen thousand nine hundred and twenty-five dollars, and, 
then, like an honest man, he corrected it, and for that honest 
correction he is held up as a perjured scoundrel. It will not 
do, my friends. 

But, as a matter of fact, not one of these affidavits is set out 
in the indictment, not one charged in the indictment. They 
are wandering tramps that were picked up as they went along 
with this case, and have no business here. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. IO5 

In route 38152 he made no affidavit. In route 38113 there 
is no charge in the indictment that he made any affidavit. In 
the route 38156 the affidavit was not false. It was charged and 
was not successfully impeached. In route 40104 the affidavit 
was never disputed and it was never attacked. In route 40113 
the affidavit was not attacked, not a solitary witness was exam 
ined. In route 35105 no affidavit was made by Dorsey. In 
route 38134 there are two more affidavits. 

Now let us see. Here is some more fraud. Put it down, 
38134 two affidavits a great fraud. The first affidavit said 
three men and twelve animals. That made fifteen ; that for 
the expedition it would take seven men and thirty-eight 
animals. That made forty-five. In other words the propor 
tion was fifteen to forty-five, just three times as much. Three 
times fifteen make forty-five. Then he made a second affi 
davit, filed with a purpose to defraud the Government. Let 
us see. In the second affidavit he said that it took two men 
and six animals. That makes eight. That on the expedition 
it would take six men and eighteen animals. That makes 
twenty-four. The proportion was eight to twenty-four. 
Three times eight make twenty-four ; and three times fifteen 
make forty-five. So that the amount was raised exactly the 
same to a cent, under the second affidavit that it was under 
the first, and consequently could not have been made for the 
purpose of defrauding anybody. Impossible. The proportion 
of course is the material thing in every affidavit, and it is only 
by that proportion that you can tell whether they are trying to 
defraud this Government or not. Suppose that second affi 
davit had changed the proportion so that he was not to get 
just the amount of money, then you might say it was a fraud. 
But it did not change the proportion. 

On route 38156 another affidavit is filed and not successfully 
impeached. I went over that. I have got through with that. 
That is all there is to it. That is all. that is everything every 
thing everything. There is no evidence tending to show that 
John W. Dorsey ever spoke to Thomas J. Brady. There is 



106 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

no evidence to show that he ever saw him. There is no evi 
dence to show that he was ever seen in his company ; no evi 
dence to show that he ever saw Turner ; that he ever heard of 
Turner ; that he ever spoke to Turner ; that he ever received 
a letter from Turner ; that he ever wrote anything to him ; no 
evidence as a matter of fact that he ever exchanged a word 
with these men ; no evidence that he ever saw Harvey M. 
Vaile ; that he ever spoke to him. Certainly there is no evi 
dence that he ever conspired with him. No evidence that he 
ever made an agreement with Thomas J. Brady or with Mr. 
Turner or with any officer no agreement of any sort, kind, 
character, or description at any place, upon any subject, or-for 
any purpose, not the slightest ; no evidence that he conspired 
with anybody ; no evidence that he ever received from the 
United States a solitary dollar, with the exception of three 
hundred and ninety-two dollars not the slightest. 

There is no evidence that he ever wrote a false communica 
tion to the department nothing of it. There is no evidence 
that he ever wrote a petition ; no evidence that he ever forged 
one ; no evidence that he ever signed anybody's name to one ; 
no evidence that he did anything of the kind or that he ever 
changed one ; no evidence that he ever put a man's name to 
it that did not live on the route ; no evidence that he ever put 
in a fictitious name ; no evidence that he helped to deceive the 
Postmaster- General not the slightest. If there is I want 
somebody just to put their finger upon the evidence. There is 
no evidence that he ever made false statements at any time. 
There is no evidence that he ever paid, as I say, a dollar to 
any official, and no evidence that he ever promised to pay it. 
All the evidence is that he got three hundred and ninety-two 
dollars. He made the affidavits in accordance with what he 
believed to be the truth. The evidence shows that when he 
made the affidavits on those routes he had no personal interest, 
that he received not a dollar for making them. He made them 
because he supposed the contractor or subcontractor had to 
make them. He made them because he believed them to be 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 107 

true. He was guided by the little experience he had himself 
and by the statements made to him by others ; and in all this 
evidence there is not a word, not a line, not a letter tending 
to show he did a dishonest act, and the jury will bear me out 
that in the affidavits attacked he was substantially right, while 
in the first instance he was too high ; in others he was too low. 
But there is no evidence that he deliberately swore to what he 
believed to be untrue. The proportion sworn to by him has 
always been substantially correct. In other words, gentlemen, 
the testimony shows that John W. Dorsey is an honest man, 
and there is no jury, there never was, there never will be, that 
will find a man like that guilty upon evidence like this. It 
never happened ; it never will happen. 

Now, I come to my other client, Stephen W. Dorsey, and 
I feel an interest in him. He is my friend. I like him. He is 
a good man. He has good sense. He is not simply a poli 
tician, he is a statesman ; and I want you to understand that 
he never did an act in this case that he did not thoroughly 
understand as well as any lawyer in this prosecution ever will 
understand ; or as well as any lawyer of the defence ever will 
understand. He knew exactly his liabilities. He knew ex 
actly his responsibility. He knew exactly what he did and he 
knew he did only what was right. In the opening of this case 
Mr. McSweeney made a statement. He told you the exact 
connection of Dorsey with this matter. He not only told you 
that, but he told you that Dorsey had lost money on these 
routes, and that he had never been repaid the money he had 
advanced, and in that connection he said that he had turned 
the routes over to James W. Bosler, and the department knew 
of James W. Bosler because they introduced testimony here 
that the warrants were paid to James W. Bosler. Mr. Mc 
Sweeney stated that Bosler controlled the business, and now 
we are asked by the prosecution, " Why did you not bring 
James W. Bosler on the stand and show that you had lost 
money ? " I return the compliment and say to them, why did 
you not bring James W. Bosler on the stand and show that it 



IO& CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

was not true that we had lost money, as he kept the books ? I 
ask them that. Why did they not bring James W. Hosier ? 

Mr. MERRICK. If your Honor please, there is no evidence 
whatever as to whether S. W. Dorsey lost money on those 
routes, and the statement of counsel made in the opening, I 
respectfully submit, cannot be used as evidence by the counsel 
in the case. 

The COURT. Of course it is impossible for me to say after 
so long a time spent in receiving evidence what evidence has 
been given on a disputed question. I cannot say from recol 
lection what evidence has been given on this subject, but I 
understand the remarks now made are not made upon evi 
dence in the case, but in reply to remarks made in the open 
ing in the case. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Partially so. 

Mr. MERRICK. The opening by their counsel. 

The COURT. By their counsel. 

Mr. MERRICK. By their counsel, Mr. McSweeney. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Let me just state it, and the Court will 
understand it perfectly. Mr. McSweeney, in his opening, said 
that these routes had been turned over to James W. Bosler ; 
that he received the money and paid it out, and that S. W. 
Dorsey on these very routes had not made money, but lost 
money. Very well. But that statement was simply a state 
ment. It was never proved afterwards. The Government 
said to us, " Why did you not bring James W. Bosler to prove 
that?" 

The COURT. Where did they say that ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. They said it in their speeches. Mr. Mer- 
rick said it. 

Mr. MERRICK. Not to prove as to the money. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Ay, " Why did you not bring James W. 
Bosler?" 

Mr. MERRICK. Yes, but not as to proof of money ; but as to 
other questions in reference to the distribution of routes and 
the loaning of money by Dorsey, and by Bosler to Dorsey, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. log 

and Dorsey's transfer of the routes to Bosler as security for 
the loan as appeared in Vaile's testimony. 

The COURT. I shall not interfere. 

Mr. MERRICK. I shall not attempt to arrest the course of 
counsel unless there is ground for it, and I ask the Court that, 
there being no evidence of this fact, that the counsel hall 
not 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] I am going to show there 
is some evidence. 

The COURT. I understand it is a remark in reply to an ob 
servation of your own. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is principally it. Now, they in 
troduced the warrants that had been drawn by the con 
tractors and subcontractors from the Post-Office Depart 
ment ; they proved that these warrants had been paid to 
James W. Bosler, and that one after the other, hundreds 
had been assigned to James W. Bosler. Now, then, I say, 
they say to us, " Why do you not bring in James W. 
Bosler and prove your innocence ? " I say why did you 
not bring in James W. Bosler and prove our guilt ? We 
opened the door. We told you the name of the witness. 
We told you that he had taken the routes ; that he kept 
the books ; that he disbursed the money, and that we had 
lost money. Instead of robbing the Government the 
Government has robbed us ; and they .say, " Why did you 
not bring Bosler ? " and I say to them, why did you not 
bring him ? They know him, and they know he is a 
reputable man. 

Now, there is another point. I ask you all to remember 
what was said in the opening, and I understand that a de 
fence is bound by its opening, bound by what it says to the 
jury. The question is, Has any fact been substantiated in 
this case that contradicts a statement made in the opening? 

The COURT. The defence has no right to avail itself of 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] Of what it says. 



IIO CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

The COURT. Of what it says in its opening unless it is 
followed by evidence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Certainly not, but it has a right to show 
that no evidence has been introduced by the Government 
that touches that opening statement. It has the right to 
do that, surely. 

Now, then, Mr. Boone was the witness for the Govern 
ment a smart man. He swore who were interested in the 
bidding. He told and he positively swore that Dorsey was 
not interested in these routes. He gave the names of the 
persons interested, and he swore positively that he was 
not. Dorsey then, I say, had not the slightest interest. 
He loaned money, he went security, he assisted in getting 
sureties on bonds, and you recollect the trouble that they 
have made about some bonds. Has there any evidence 
been introduced to show that there was a bad bond ? Has 
any evidence been introduced to show that the name of an 
insolvent man was put upon any bond as security ? Has 
there been any evidence to show that any action 
was ever commenced on any of these bonds ; any evidence 
tending to show that every bond was not absolutely good? 
As a matter of fact, the Government waived all of that. 
In offering the contract on route 35015, Mr. Merrick made 
this remark : 

" It is offered for the purpose of showing the contract made. The 
contract itself is not an overt act. That is all right. There is nothing 
criminal about that." 

Good! 

Nothing criminal about any contract, gentlemen. You 
will all admit they had to make the bids, and if they 
were the lowest bidders it was the duty of the Government 
to accept the bids and afterwards to make the contracts in 
accordance with them. There was nothing wrong in that. 
That is Dorsey 's first step. His first step really was an act 
of kindness. What was the second step ? He was unable 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. Ill 

to advance any more money. Mr. Peck, Mr. Miner, Mr. 
Dorsey, and Mr. Boo lie were unable to advance the money, 
so Mr. Boone went out and Mr. Vaile came in, and the new 
partnership agreed to refund this money that had been ad 
vanced ; that is, the money advanced by the other parties. 
What one gets another to advance is really advanced by 
him as long as he is liable for it. Mr. Vaile, a man of 
large experience and means, was taken in Boone's place. 
Is there anything suspicious up to this time ? That is the 
only test of this whole question. Is it natural ? If it is 
natural there is no chance for suspicion. After Mr. Vaile 
came in, a written contract was made on August 16, 1878. 
There is no conspiracy up to that time. Not the slightest 
evidence of it ; no arrangement with any officers up to that 
time. Now, under the August contract, Mr. Vaile took 
the entire business in charge, and he ran it, as I under 
stand, until the first day of April, 1879. No officer had 
any interest in it then. There was no conspiracy then. 
Vaile received all the money and paid it out. Here we 
stand on the first day of April, 1879. Now, what is the 
history up to this time ? That John W. Dorsey, Peck, 
Miner, and Boone were bidders ; that certain routes had 
been awarded, they had not the money to stock the routes, 
and that S. W. Dorsey advanced some money and went se 
curity ; that afterwards Boone went out and Vaile came in, 
and the contract was made by virtue of which Vaile became 
the treasurer and knew everybody , and ran the business 
to the first day of April, 1879. He swears positively that 
he made no arrangement and that he paid no money. It 
is also in evidence that in December, 1878, Stephen W. 
Dorsey and Vaile met for the first time, and met in the 
Germ an- American Bank for the purpose of settling the 
claim upon which Dorsey was security, and replacing the 
notes upon which Dorsey was, by notes of Vaile, Miner & 
Co. Afterwards these notes were paid by Vaile and the 



112 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

security of Dorsey released. Now, in April, 1879, a division 
is made. The contract of August, 1878, was done away 
with and a division x of the routes was made, seventy per 
cent, being taken by Vaile and Miner and thirty per cent, 
by John W. Dorsey and Peck. In April, 1879, tne parties 
divided instead of coming together. They do not conspire. 
They separate. They do not unite. They go asunder. 
From that moment they agree to have nothing in common. 
Each man takes his own, and each man attends to his own 
and does not help anybody else except when they insist 
that a contractor or subcontractor shall make the affidavit. 
They made affidavits on the routes on which they were 
contractors. That is all there is to it up to that time. Then 
these routes were assigned to Dorsey for the purpose of 
securing him. 

Now, I go to the overt acts charged against Stephen W. 
Dorsey. Do you know I am delighted to get right to that 
page of my notes. I am delighted that I now have the op 
portunity to answer and to answer forever all the infamous 
things that have been charged against this man. Here we 
are, before this jury, a jury of his fellow-citizens, a jury that 
has the courage to do right. I have finally the chance of 
telling here before men who know whether I am speaking the 
truth or not, what has been charged against Stephen W. 
Dorsey and what has been proved against him. Let us ex 
amine the overt acts charged. On route 38135 it is charged 
that Miner, Rerdell and S. W. Dorsey transmitted a false 
affidavit. The evidence is that the affidavit was made by 
Miner, not by Dorsey, transmitted by Miner, not by Dorsey, 
and that it was not transmitted as charged in the indictment, 
but transmitted on the i8th day of April, 1879. There is no 
evidence that Dorsey ever-heard of that affidavit, that he ever 
made it, that he ever transmitted it, that he ever saw it, that 
he ever knew of its existence. That is the first charge. 
There is not one particle of evidence to show that he ever 
knew there was such a paper. Upon that written lie, upon 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 113 

that mistake these infamous charges affecting the character of 
this man have been circulated over the United States. 

What is the next ? That he with others filed false petitions. 
I am telling you now all the charges; every one of them. 
What is the evidence ? Oh, it is splendid to get to the facts. 
The evidence is that every petition is shown to have been 
genuine. There is no evidence that he ever filed one or sent 
one, or asked to have one sent on that route ; and every 
petition is genuine and no charge made except as to one. In 
one they said the words " quicker time" were inserted ; but 
the very next paragraph asked for quicker time, and nobody 
pretended that had been inserted. Besides that, it was 
charged in the indictment to have been filed on the 26th day 
of June. As a matter of fact, it was filed on the 8th day of 
May. It was never filed by Stephen W. Dorsey ; it was 
never gotten up by Stephen W. Dorsey. There is no 
evidence that he ever knew of it or heard of it. Third, 
that he fraudulently filed a subcontract. Two mistakes 
and an impossible offence. That ends that route. That 
is everything on earth in it. I defy any man to make 
anything more out of it than I have. I have told every 
word. 

The next route is No. 41119. It is charged that Stephen 
W. Dorsey with others transmitted a false oath. The 
evidence is that the oath was made by Peck, and it was 
transmitted by Peck and not by Stephen W. Dorsey. 
What else ? That it is true. There are three mistakes in 
that charge. They say Dorsey made it. Peck made it 
They say Dorsey transmitted it. Peck transmitted it. 
They say it was false. The evidence shows it true. Tha; 
is all there is to that route. It is the only charge on that 
route. No petitions were claimed to be false. 

Now we come to route 38145. Let us see if we can do any 
better on that. The first charge is, that Stephen W. Dorsey 
fraudulently filed a subcontract. The subcontract was made 
with Sanderson, Sanderson got his own contract filed. This 



114 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

charge was copied from the old indictment. It is a mistake 
and that is all there is to it. These are the charges that have 
carried sorrow to many hearts. These are the charges that 
have darkened homes. These are the charges that have filled 
nights with grief and horror ; every one of them a lie. 

The next route is 38156. The first charge is that he trans 
mitted a false oath. The oath was made by John W. Dorsey, 
and is true. The second charge is of fraudulently filing a sub 
contract, an impossible offence. That is everything on that 
route. Absolutely untrue. 

Now we come to the next, No. 46217. The charge is filing 
base petitions. The evidence is that every petition was genuine. 
Every one. Mr. Bliss said 

" We make no point about increase of trips on this route." 

Every petition was for increase oi trips. You will see that 
on record, page 1008. That is the only charge on that route, 
gentlemen. Utterly false ! 

Come now to route 38140. Charge : Filing false and forged 
petitions. Evidence : All the petitions genuine. Second 
charge : Transmitting a false oath and making it. Evidence : 
Oath made by John W. Dorsey, and true. That is all there is 
to that route. If they can rake up any more I want to see it. 
I have been through this record. 

Route 38113. Charge: Fraudulently filing a subcontract. 
That is all. You cannot fraudulently file a subcontract. 

Route 40113. Charge: Filing false and forged petitions. 
Evidence : Every petition admitted by the Government to be 
genuine. Good. Second : transmitting a false oath. Evi 
dence : Oath made by John W. Dorsey, and the Government 
introduced no witness to show that it was false. See how 
these charges fall. See how they bite the ground. That 
is all. 

I have told you every one in this indictment ; every one. 
You will hardly believe it. Now let me give you the re 
capitulation. S. W. Dorsey is charged on eight routes 
with having transmitted four false oaths. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 115 

The evidence is he never made one nor transmitted one, 
and that the four oaths were all true. On five routes he is 
charged with having filed false petitions. The evidence 
is that all the petitions were genuine. None of the peti 
tions charged in the indictment to have been transmitted 
by him were transmitted by him. He is charged with fil 
ing fraudulent subcontracts, and the evidence is that the 
subcontracts were genuine, and besides that, as I have said 
a dozen times, it is utterly impossible to fraudulently file a 
subcontract. Not a single, solitary charge in this indict 
ment against Stephen W. Dorsey has been substantiated. 
Not one. He has been called a robber, he has been called 
a thief, but the evidence shows he is an honest man. Not 
one single thing alleged in that indictment has been sub 
stantiated against him, and I defy any human being to point 
to the evidence that does it. Now think of it. All this 
charge has been made against that man upon that evi 
dence ; no other evidence ; not another line so far as the 
indictment is concerned. What is outside of the indict 
ment ? That he wrote two letters, taking possession of 
routes that had been turned over to him as security, which 
he had a right to do. What else ? That he got up some 
petitions, or had them gotten up, in the State of Oregon. 
The man who got them up was brought here as a witness. 
I believe his name was Wilcox. He swore that everything 
he did was honest, and that every name to every petition 
was genuine. Now let us see. Another point has been 
made upon S. W. Dorsey. I want to read it to you. This 
is from the argument of Mr. Merrick : 

" Peck, John W. Dorsey and Miner, or some other one of Stephen 
W. Dorsey's friends. Who was making up this conspiracy ? Who 
was gathering around him arms and hands to reach into the public 
Treasury for his benefit, while his own were apparently unoccupied 
with pelf? S. W. Dorsey. 'My brother and brother-in-law will go 
in, and Miner, or if not Miner, then one of my other friends.' " 

This is quoted. 



Il6 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

"One -of S. W. Dorsey's other facile friends. That was in 1877, 
gentlemen, the morning of this day of fraud and criminality. In that 
room where Boone and S. W. Dorsey sat arose the sun, and there 
was marked his course. There was fashioned the duration and the 
business of that criminal day." 

Now, let us see what the evidence is. The object of 
that speech is to convince you that Dorsey said to Boone. 
" I will either put in Miner or one of my friends." Do 
you know that there is not money enough in the Treasury 
of the United States, there is not gold and silver enough in 
the veins of this earth to tempt me to misstate evidence 
when a man is on trial for his liberty or his life. Let us 
see what the evidence is : 

" Q. Who else besides his brother-in-law and brother ? A. I could 
not say positively whether Mr. Miner's name was mentioned. He 
either mentioned his name or a friend of his from Sandusky, 
Ohio." 

Now, I submit to you, gentlemen, what does that mean ? 
Mr. Boone, in effect, says, " He told me either it was Miner 
or a friend of his from Sandusky. That is, he either 
described Miner by his name or he described him as a 
friend of his from Sandusky." Then there was objection 
made, and after that comes another question : 

"Q. Was anything said of Mr. Miner's coming to Washington? 
A. I could not say whether his name was mentioned or a friend of 
his; a personal friend." 

What does that mean ? Boone cannot remember Whether 
he called him Miner or called him a friend of his from 
Sandusky. What else ? 

"A. There was to be nobody that I understood outside of the 
parties I spoke of. 

" Q. You and John W. Dorsey and Peck? A. And Mr. Miner." 

"Q. Or one of his friends? A. Or Mr. Dorsey's friend. The 
arrangement made was not made until they came here. It was only 
to prepare the necessary blanks and papers pending their coming 
because the time was getting short, and it was necessary to get the 
information to bid upon. Nothing was said about any interest at all 
until after they came here, and then there was a partnership entered 
into." 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 117 

Now, I ask you, gentlemen of the jury, what is the 
meaning of that testimony. The meaning is simply this : 
Boone could not remember whether he mentioned Miner's 
name or called him a friend of his from Sandusky, yet the 
object has been to make you believe that the testimony 
was that S. W. Dorsey said, " I will either have Miner or I 
will get another friend of mine." Dorsey had no interest 
in it, not the interest of one cent, not the interest of one 
dollar, directly, indirectly, or any other way. He had no 
interest in having a friend of his. All that Mr. Boone said 
is that Mr. Dorsey either called this man Miner or described 
him as a friend from Sandusky, Ohio. The evidence is 
that Mr. Miner did come, and the evidence is that the 
arrangement was made. What else is there outside in this 
case against Stephen W. Dorsey ? I ask you to put your 
hand upon it. I ask anybody to point it out. What other 
suspicious circumstance is there ? I want you to under 
stand that all the suspicious circumstances in the world are 
good for nothing. All the evidence on earth tending to 
show a thing does not show it. Anything that only 
tends that way never gets there ; never. 

You cannot infer a conspiracy. Unless you have the 
facts proved, you cannot infer the fact and then infer the 
conspiracy. There has not been I want to say it again 
there has not been a solitary fraudulent act proven against 
Stephen W. Dorsey. They have not done it and they can 
not do it. All I ask of you, gentlemen, is to find a verdict 
in accordance with this testimony. 

May it please the Court, it appears from the evidence in 
this case, I think the evidence of Mr. James, that Stephen 
W. Dorsey at one time, about sixteen or seventeen months 
ago, made a statement in writing of his connection with all 
these routes. That statement he gave to the Attorney- 
General and the Postmaster-General. There is no evidence 
of what was in that statement. The only evidence is that 



Tl8 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

such a statement was made, embracing his connection with 
these routes. 

The COURT. You offered to prove that. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Oh, no. The reason it was established 
was I wanted to show whether that statement was made 
before or after Mr. Rerdell made a statement. The fact 
simply appears that he made a statement. 

The COURT. You offered to prove the fact. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I do not remember offering to prove it. 
I proved it. 

The COURT. If it was not proven 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] I did prove it as a fact. 

The COURT. That he made a statement. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes, sir. Right here it is [taking up 
the record]. 

The COURT. Oh, well, you cannot base any remarks 
upon that. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Let me read what the evidence says : 

*'Q. Was this statement of Rerdell's made to you after you had 
received the statements of S. W. Dorsey as to his connection with all 
these entire routes or with this entire business ? 

"The WITNESS. To what statement do you refer? 

"Mr. INGERSOLL. To the statement that was made in writing and 
given to you and the attorney-general by ex-Senator S. W. Dorsey ? 

"A. It must have been after that. 

"Q. You mean Rerdell's statement was after that? A. Yes, sir. 

" Q. Did you ever see that statement made by Senator Dorsey ? 
A. It was referred to the attorney-general. 

" Q. Did you ever see it ? A. Certainly. 

" Q. Do you know where it now is ? A. I do not." 

I am not going to say a word about what was in that 
statement, but the Court will see that that has a direct 
bearing upon their action with regard to Rerdell's state 
ment whether it was made before or after, which I will 
endeavor to show, and the only point that I wanted to 
make upon that statement now, was that the Government 
has not endeavored to prove that anything in that state- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 1 19 

ment was inconsistent with the evidence in this case. I am 
not going to say what the statement was ; simply that he 
made a statement, and it follows as naturally as night 
follows morning, and morning follows night, that if that 
statement had been incorrect it would have been brought 
forward. That is all. 

The COURT. For anything the Court knows it might have 
been a confession. We do not know anything about it. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. If it had been a confession it would 
have been here. That is the point I make. If there had 
been in that anything inconsistent with the testimony it 
would have been here. 

The COURT. Probably it would. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes, sir; that is my point. 

The COURT. When a man is charged with crime no man 
has a right to say that because he did not deny it that is 
evidence of his guilt. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. No, sir ; and no man has a right to say 
that because he did deny it is evidence of his innocence. 

The COURT. It is not evidence either way. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It is not evidence either way, and if I 
am charged with a crime and I make a written statement 
to the Government of my entire connection with that 
thing, and they go on and examine it for one year 
and finally finish the trial without showing that that 
statement was incorrect, it is a moral demonstration that 
my statement agreed with the testimony. 

The COURT. On the principle, I suppose, of an account 
rendered and no objection made ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Good. That is a good idea. 

The COURT. I do not see anything in that. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I see a great deal in it, and it is a 
question whether the jury can see anything in it. 

The COURT. It is a question whether the Court too 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] Very well. 



I2O CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

The COURT. [Continuing.] Whether the Court is going 
to allow an argument to be based upon a mere vacuum- 
wind, nothing. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That would seem to be stealing the 
foundation of this case. [Laughter, and cries of " Silence " 
from the bailiffs.] We will consider the argument made to 
the Court, and not to the jury. 

The next question, then, is what is the corpus delicti; 
that is, in a case of conspiracy ? I do not believe the com 
bination to be the corpus delicti the mere association. It 
may be the corpus, but it is not the delicti, and under the 
law there must not only be a conspiracy, as I understand 
it, but also an overt act done by one of the conspirators to 
accomplish the object of the conspiracy. So that the con 
spiracy with the fraudulent purpose and the overt act 
constitute the corpus delicti. Now, I read from Best on 
Presumptions, page 279: 

" The corpus delicti, the body of an offence, is the fact of its actu 
ally having been committed." 

The dead body in a murder case is not the corpus delicti. 
It is the corpse and nothing more. It must be followed 
by evidence that murder was committed. 

"The corpus delicti is the body, substance or foundation of the 
offence. It is the substantial and fundamental fact of its having been 
committed." 

i Haggard, 105, opinion by Lord Stowell. 

I now refer you to Peoples vs. Powell, 63, N. Y., page 
92. It seems that the defendants in this case were com 
missioners of charities of the county of Kings, and they 
were indicted for conspiring together to buy supplies con 
trary to law and without duly advertising. Their defence 
was that they were not aware that such a law existed ; that 
they were ignorant of the law. The court below thought 
that made no difference. The court above said before they 
could be guilty of this crime there must be the intention to 
commit the crime, and this language is used : 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 121 

"The agreement must have been entered into with an evil purpose, 
as distinguished from a purpose simply to do the act prohibited in 
ignorance of the prohibition. This is implied in the meaning of the 
word conspiracy. Mere concert is not conspiracy." 

So combination is not conspiracy ; partnership is not 
conspiracy ; neither is it the corpus delicti of conspiracy. 
There must be the evil intent ; there must be the wicked 
conspiracy not only, but there must be one at least overt 
act done in pursuance of it before the corpus delicti can be 
established. 

"The actual criminal intention belongs to the definition of the 
offence and must be shown to justify a conviction for conspiracy. 
The offence originally consisted in a combination to convict an 
innocent person by perversion of the law. It has since been greatly 
extended, but I am of opinion that proof that the defendants agreed 
to do an act prohibited by statute, followed by overt acts in further 
ance of the agreed purpose, did not conclusively establish that they 
were guilty of the crime of conspiracy." 

It would be hard to find a stronger case, in my judg 
ment, than that. Although they agreed to violate a 
statute they agreed to buy supplies without complying 
with the statute by advertising they claimed they were 
in ignorance of it, and the question was whether they were 
guilty of conspiracy, having no intent to do an illegal act, 
and the court of appeals decided that that verdict could 
not stand. 

The COURT. Because the court below had instructed the 
jury that whether what they did was done in ignorance or 
with knowledge it made no difference. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Certainly ; it made no difference. Every 
body is supposed to know the law. 

Now, the next point is, and great weight has been put upon 
it, gentlemen, that concurrence of action establishes con 
spiracy; that if one does a part and another another part and 
finally the culmination comes, that is absolute evidence, or 
in other words, an inference. Admitting, now, that they 
were perfectly honest, if any of these parties made a bid, 



122 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that bid had to be accepted by the Government. They 
had to act together. The department and the man had to 
act together to have the bid accepted. The department 
and the man had to act together to make the contract. 
The department and the man had to act together to get 
the pay, and no matter how perfectly honest the trans 
action was they had to act together from the first step to 
the payment of the last dollar. 

Now, in a business where they do have to act together, 
where one necessarily does one thing, and the other neces 
sarily does another, the fact that that happens does not even 
tend to prove that there is any fraud. Upon this concur 
rence of action I refer to the case of Metcalfe against 
O'Connor and wife, in Little's Select Cases, 497. One of 
the men confessed that a large party went to the house 
where there was a disturbance and where they tried to take 
by force a boy from the custody of a man and woman. 
Now, the fact that these men did go the house, the fact 
that they were there at the time this happened, and the fact 
that one of the conspirators or one of the trespassers had 
confessed that he went there and that the other went with 
him for that purpose, the court decides that you cannot in 
fer the purpose of these men from the statement of the 
other ; neither can you infer it from the fact that they were 
there. You must find out for what purpose they were 
there by ascertaining what they did and when they 
were there, and that concurrence in actions shows 
nothing. 

The COURT. Did you not say that the decision there was 
that the conspiracy might be inferred from the combination 
to do the act ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I will just read it and then there will 
be no guessing about it : 

" This is a writ of error prosecuted by the defendants to a judg 
ment for the plaintiffs in an action of trespass for an assault and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 123 

battery alleged to have been committed upon the plaintiff Ann, the 
wife of the other plaintiff. 

"We are of the opinion that the circuit court erred in refusing to 
instruct the jury, at the instance of the defendants, to find for all of 
them, except the defendant Metcalfe. He is the only one of the 
defendants proven to have touched the defendant Ann, and against 
the other defendants there is no evidence conducing in the slightest 
degree to prove them guilty of committing any assault or battery 
upon her, or of any intention to do so. 

"It is true that it was proved that the other defendants confessed 
that they were at the house of Connor when the assault and battery 
charged is alleged to have been committed, and it was also proved 
that Metcalfe confessed that he and the other defendants had gone 
there for the purpose of taking from Connor by force an idiot boy 
whom he had in his custody. But the circumstances of the other 
defendants being at Connor's house, there is no evidence they 
were there for any unlawful purpose ; nor can it of itself be sufficient 
to render them responsible for any act done by Metcalfe in which 
they did not participate ; and the confessions of Metcalfe are ceitainly 
not legitimate evidence against the others to prove the unlawful pur 
pose with which they went to Connor's, and thereby to charge them 
with the consequences of his act." 

Now, to all appearances, they went there together ; to all 
appearances, they went there for the one purpose, and Met 
calfe, the man who really did the mischief, confessed that 
they all went there for the one purpose, but the court held 
that that was not sufficient. 

"Where several agree or conspire to commit a trespass, or for 
any other unlawful purpose, they will, no doubt, all be liable for the 
act of any one of them done in execution of the unlawful purpose ; 
and when the agreement or conspiracy is first proved by other 
evidence, the confession of one of them will be admissible evidence 
against the others. But it is well settled that the confessions of one 
person cannot be admitted against the others to prove that they had 
conspired with him for an unlawful purpose." 

Now, the next evidence that I wish to allude to, gentle 
men, is the evidence of Mr. Walsh, and I will only say a few 
words, because it has been examined and it has been ground 
to powder. Everything in this world is true in proportion 
that it agrees with human experience ; and you can safely 
say that everything is false or the probability is that it is 



124 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

false in proportion that it is not in accordance with human 
experience. Other things being equal, we act substantially- 
alike. 

Now, when anything really happens everything else that 
ever happened will fit it. You take a spar crystal, I do not 
care how far north you get it, and another spar crystal, no 
matter how far south you get it, and put them together and 
they will exactly fit each other exactly. The slope is 
precisely the same. And it is so with facts. Every fact in 
this world will fit every other fact just exactly. Not a 
hair's difference. But. a lie will not fit anything but an 
other lie made for the purpose never. It never did. And 
finally, there has to come a place where this lie, or the lie 
made for the sake of it, has to join some truth, and there is 
a bad joint always. And that is the only way to examine 
testimony. Is it natural ? Does it accord with what we 
know ? Does it accord with our experience ? 

Now, take the testimony of Mr. Walsh, and I find some 
improbabilities in it. Just let me read you a few : 

1. Bankers and brokers do not, as a rule, loan money 
without taking at least a note. That is my experience. 
And the poorer this broker is, the less money he has, the 
more security he wants. He not only wants an indorser 
but he would like to have a mortgage on your life, liberty, 
and pursuit of happiness. That is the first improbability. 

2. Bankers and brokers do not, as a rule, take notes that 
bear no interest, or in which the interest is not stated. Peo 
ple who live on interest find it always to their interest to 
have the interest mentioned always. I never got a cent 
of a banker that I did not pay interest, and generally in 
advance. 

3. Bankers and brokers do not, as a rule, take notes 
payable on demand, because such notes are not nego 
tiable. 

4. It is hardly probable that when a banker and broke'' 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 125 

holds the note of another for twelve thousand dollars the 
note being unpaid he would loan thirteen thousand five 
hundred dollars more, taking another note on demand in 
which the rate of interest was not stated. 

5. It is still more improbable that the same banker 
and broker, with a note for twelve thousand dollars and 
one for thirteen thousand five hundred dollars, being un 
paid, would loan five thousand four hundred dollars more 
without taking any note or asking any security. 

6. When such banker and broker called upon his debtor 
for a settlement, and exhibited the two notes, and there 
upon his debtor took the two notes and put them in his 
pocket, it is highly improbable that the banker and broker 
would submit to such treatment. 

7. It is improbable that such banker and broker would 
afterwards commence suit to recover the money, without 
mentioning to his attorney, in fact, that the notes had been 
taken away from him. 

8. It is also improbable that the banker and broker 
would commence another suit for the same subject-matter 
and still keep the fact that the notes had been taken from 
him by violence, a secret from his attornej\ 

9. If Mr. Brady took the notes by force, it is improbable 
that he would immediately put himself in the power of the 
man he had robbed, by stating to him that he, Brady, was 
in the habit of taking bribes. 

10. It is impossible that Mr. Brady could, in fact, have 
done this, which amounted to saying this : " I have taken 
twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars from you ; of 
course, you are my enemy ; of course, you will endeavor 
to be revenged, and I now point out the way in which you 
can have your revenge. I am Second Assistant Post 
master-General ; I award contracts, increases, and expedi 
tion, and upon these I receive twenty per cent, as a bribe. 
lama bribe-taker ; I am a thief ; make the most of it. I 



126 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

give you these tacts in order that I may put a weapon in 
your hands with which you can obtain your revenge." 

There are also other improbabilities connected with this 
testimony. 

If Mr. Brady was receiving twenty per cent, of all in 
creases and expeditions, amounting to hundreds of thou 
sands of dollars per annum, it is not easy to see why he 
would be borrowing money from Mr. Walsh. 

Now, if that story is true, boil it down and it is this, be 
cause if he got this twenty per cent, from everybody he had 
oceans of money boil it all down and it is this : A rich man 
borrows without necessity and a poor banker loans without 
security. These twin improbabilities would breed suspicion 
in credulity itself. No man ever believed that story, no man 
ever will. There is something wrong about it somewhere, 
unnatural, improbable, and it is for you to say, gentlemen, 
whether it is true or not, not for me. What is the effect of 
that testimony? So far as my clients are concerned it is 
admitted, I believe, by the prosecution it was so stated, I 
believe, by his Honor from the bench that it could not by 
any possibility affect any defendant except Mr. Brady, and the 
question now is, can it even affect him ? I call the attention of 
the Court to 4Oth N. Y., page 228. I give the page from 
which I read : 

"To make such admissions or declarations competent evidence, it 
must stand as a fact in the cause, admitted or proved, that the 
assignor or assignees were in a conspiracy to defraud the creditors. 
If that fact exist, then the acts and declarations of either, made in 
execution of the common purpose, and in aid of its fulfillment, are 
competent against either of them. The principle of its admissibility 
assumes thai fact." 

That the conspiracy has been established. 

" In case of conspiracy, where the combination is proved, the acts 
and declarations of the conspirators are not received as evidence of 
that fact, but to show what was done, the means employed, the par 
ticular design in respect to the parties to be affected or wronged, and 
generally those details which, assuming the combination and the 
illegal purpose, unfold its extent, scope, and influence either upon 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 1 27 

the public or the individuals who suffer from the wrong, or show the 
execution of the illegal design. But when the issue is simply and 
only, was there a conspiracy to defraud, these declarations do not 
become evidence to establish it." 

" So far then, as the admission of the evidence in this case, of 
declarations, subsequent to the assignment, is sought to be sustained 
as evidence of the common fraud, on the ground of conspiracy, the 
argument wholly fails. A conspiracy cannot be proved against 
three by evidence that one admitted it, nor against assignees by 
proof that the assignor admitted it ; it is a fact that must be proved 
by evidence, the competency of which does not depend upon an 
assumption that it exists." 

So to the same point is the case of Cowles against Coe, 2ist 
Connecticut, 220. I will read that portion of the syllabus that 
conveys the idea : 

"To prove the alleged conspiracy between the defendant and G., 
the plaintiff offered the deposition of R., stating declarations made 
by G. to R., while G. was engaged in purchasing goods of him, on 
credit, and relative to G. 's responsibility and means of obtaining 
money through the defendant's aid ; these declarations were objected 
to, not on the ground that the conspiracy had not been sufficiently 
proved, but because the defendant was not present when they were 
made ; it was held that they were admissible, within the rule regard 
ing declarations made by a conspirator in furtherance of the common 
object." 

Now, let us see what the court says about it : 

"The remaining question is, whether the declarations of Gale to 
Edmund Curtiss and William Ives were properly received. These 
declarations were not offered as in any way tending to prove the 
combination claimed. The motion shows that they were offered and 
received after the plaintiff's evidence on that subject had been intro 
duced. Had they been admitted for that purpose, or if, under the 
circumstances, they could have had any influence with the jury on 
that point, we should feel bound to advise a new trial on this 
account." 

All that I have said in respect to Walsh applies to what is 
known or what is called the confession of Rerdell. It was 
admitted by the prosecution that not one word said by 
him could bind any other defendant in the case. But, 
gentlemen, is there enough even to bind him ? Did he 
confess that he was guilty of the conspiracy set forth in 



128 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

this indictment? And I want to make one other point. 
In this case there must be not only a conspiracy, but 
an overt act, and no man can confess himself into it 
without confessing that he was a conspirator, and that he 
knew that an overt act was to be done ; because it takes 
that conspiracy and the overt act to 'make the offence. 
What overt act did Rerdell confess that he was guilty of 
what overt act charged in this indictment ? One. Filing a 
subcontract ; and by no earthly method, by no earthly 
reasoning can you come to the conclusion that that could 
carry it into conspiracy. He must have confessed that he 
was guilty according to the scheme, according to the in 
dictment set forth, and in no other way. That indictment 
says that the money was to be divided, that it was for the 
mutual benefit of certain persons. Unless that has been 
substantiated this case falls. According to the case of the 
King against Pomall the scheme of the indictment must be 
established, otherwise the case goes. In that case they 
charged it was one way, and they proved it was that way, 
and one of the defendants did not understand it that way 
and he was acquitted. Now, suppose they had not proved 
the scheme as they charged it, then all would have been 
acquitted, and unless the jury believe beyond a reasonable 
doubt, from the evidence that the scheme set forth in the 
indictment here was the scheme, then they must find 
everybody not guilty. There is no other way. 

What is the next argument ? The next argument is 
extravagance. What is extravagance ? If I pay more for 
a thing than it is worth that is extravagance. If I buy a 
thing that I do not want, that is extravagance, and if I do 
this knowing it to be wrong, if I do this understanding 
that I am to have a part of the price, that is bribery, that is 
corruption, that is rascality. Nobody disputes that. How 
do you know that a 'hing is extravagant unless you know 
the price of it ? For instance, an army officer is charged 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 1 29 

with extravagance in buying corn upon the plains at five 
dollars a bushel. How do you prove it is extravagance ? 
You must prove that he could have obtained it for less or 
that there was a cheaper substitute that he should have 
obtained. How are you going to prove that too much was 
paid for carrying the mail upon these routes ? Only by 
showing that it could have been carried for less. What 
witness was before this jury fixing the price? How are 
we to establish the fact that it was extravagance ? We must 
show that it could have been obtained for less money. 
What witness came here and swore that he would carry it 
for less? And would it be fair to have the entire case 
decided upon one route when it is in evidence that my 
clients had thirty per cent, of one hundred and twenty-six 
routes ? Would it be fair to decide the question whether 
they had made or lost money on one route ? Your experi 
ence tells you that upon one route they might make a 
large sum of money and upon several other routes lose 
largely. A man who has bid for one hundred routes takes 
into view the average and says "upon some I shall lose and 
upon others I shall make." How are you to find that this 
was extravagance unless you know what it could have 
been done for ? They may say that they subcontracted 
some of the routes for much less. Yes ; but what did they 
do with the rest of them ? I might take a contract to build 
a dozen houses in this city, and on the first house make 
ten thousand dollars clear, and on the balance I might lose 
twenty-five thousand dollars. You have a right to take 
these things and to average them. When a man takes a 
contract he takes into consideration the chances that he 
must run in that new and wild country. It takes work to 
carry this mail. You ought to be there sometimes in the 
winter when the wind comes down with an unbroken 
sweep of three or four thousand miles, and then tell me 
what you think it is worth to carry the mail. All these 



130 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

things must be taken into consideration. Another thing : 
You must remember that every one of these routes was 
established by Congress. Congress first said, " Here shall 
be a route ; here the mail shall be carried." It was the 
business then, I believe, of the First Assistant Postmaster- 
General to name the offices, and the Second Assistant to 
put on the service. Take that into consideration. Every 
one of these routes was established by Congress. Take 
another thing into consideration : That the increase of serv 
ice and expedition was asked for, petitioned for, begged 
for, and urged by the members of both houses of Congress, 
and according to that book, which I believe is in evidence, 
a majority of both houses of Congress asked, recom 
mended, and urged increase of service and expedition upon 
some of the nineteen routes in this indictment. 
The COURT. What evidence do you refer to ? 
Mr. INGERSOLL. I refer to the Star Route investigation in 
Congress. 

The COURT. That record is not in evidence. 
Mr. INGERSOLL. I thought that was in evidence. 
The COURT. No, sir. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It was used as if it was in evidence. I 
saw people reading from it, and supposed it was in 
evidence. 

The COURT. It is not in evidence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Well, we will leave that out. Now, 
upon these nineteen routes this is in evidence increase 
and expedition of service were recommended by such 
Senators as Booth, Farley, Slater, Grover, Chaffee, Chilcott, 
Saunders, and by the present Secretary of the Interior, 
Henry M. Teller, and by such members of Congress as 
Whiteaker, Page, Luttrell, Pacheco, Berry, Belford, Bing- 
ham, chairman of the postoffice committee, by Stevens of 
Arizona, a delegate, and by Maginnis of Montana, and 
Kidder of Dakota, by Generals Sherman, Terry, Miles, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. IJI 

Hatch and Wilcox In addition to these, recommenda 
tions were made and read by judges of courts, by district 
attorneys, by governors of Territories, by governors of 
States, and by members of State Legislatures, by colonels, 
by majors, by captains, and by hundreds and hundreds of 
good, reputable, honest citizens. They were the ones to 
decide as a matter of fact whether this increase was or was 
not necessary. 

I believe in carrying the mails. I believe in the diffu 
sion of intelligence. I believe the men in Colorado or 
Wyoming, or any other Territory, that are engaged in 
digging gold or silver from the earth, or any other pur 
suits, have just as much right, in the language of Henry M. 
Teller, to their mail as any gentleman has to his in the city 
of New York. We are a nation that believes in intelligence. 

We believe in daily mail. That is about the only bless 
ing we get from the General Government, excepting the 
privilege of paying taxes. Free mail, substantially free, 
is a blessing. 

Now, there is another argument which has been used : 
Productiveness ; but that has been so perfectly answered 
that I allude to it only for one purpose. How would the 
attorneys for the Government in this case like to have their 
fees settled upon that basis? PRODUCTIVENESS. Is it 
possible that this Government cannot afford to carry the 
mail ? Is it possible that the pioneer can get beyond the 
Government ? Is is possible that we are not willing to 
carry letters and papers to the men that make new Terri 
tories and new States and put new stars upon our flag ? I 
have heard all I wish on the subject of productiveness. 

Now, gentlemen, that is all the evidence there is in this 
case, that I have heard. What kind of evidence must we 
have in a conspiracy case ? You have been told during 
this trial that it is very hard to get evidence in a conspiracy 
case, and therefore you must be economical enough to put 



132 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

up with a little. They tell you that this is a very peculiar 
offence, and people are very secret about it. Well, they 
are secret about most offences. Very few people steal in 
public. Very few commit offences who expect to be dis 
covered. I know of no difference between this offence and 
any other. You have got to prove it. No matter how 
hard it is to prove you must prove it. It is harder to con 
vict a man without testimony, or should be, than to pro 
duce testimony to prove it if he is guilty. All these crimes, 
of course, are committed in secret. That is always the 
way. But you must prove them. There is no pretence 
here that there is any direct evidence, any evidence of a 
meeting, any evidence of agreement, any evidence of an 
understanding. It is all circumstantial. I lay down these 
two propositions : 

"The hypothesis of guilt must flow naturally from the facts proved, 
and be consistent, not with some of the facts, not with a majority ot 
the facts, but with every fact." 

Let me read that again : 

" The hypothesis of guilt must flow naturally from the facts proved, 
and must be consistent with them ; not some of them, not the majority 
of them, but all of them. ' ' 

The second proposition is : 

" The evidence must be such as to exclude every single reasonable 
hypothesis except that of the guilt of the defendant. In other words, 
all the facts proved must be consistent with and point to the guilt of 
the defendants not only, but every fact must be inconsistent with 
their innocence." 

That is the law, and has been since man spoke Anglo- 
Saxon. Let me read you that last proposition again. I 
like to read it : 

" The evidence must be such as to exclude every reasonable 
hypothesis except that of the guilt of the defendants. In other words, 
all the facts proved must be consistent with and point to the guilt of 
the defendants not only, but they must be inconsistent, and every fact 
must be inconsistent with their innocence" 

Now, just apply that law to the case of John W. Dorsey. 
Apply that law to the case of Stephen W. Dorsey. Let me 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 133 

read further. I read now from i Bishop's Criminal Pro 
cedure, paragraph 1077 

" It matters not how clearly the circumstances point to guilt, still, 
if they are reasonably explainable on a theory which excludes guilt, 
they cannot satisfy the jury beyond reasonable doubt that the de 
fendants are guilty, and hence they will be insufficient." 

Just apply that to the case of Stephen W. Dorsey and 
John W. Dorsey. I would be willing that this jury should 
render a verdict with that changed. Change it. You are 
to find guilty if you have the slightest doubt of innocence. 
Even under that rule you could not find a verdict of guilty 
against John W. or Stephen W. Dorsey. If the rule were 
that you are to find guilty if you have a doubt as to inno 
cence you could not do it ; how much less when the rule is 
that you must have no doubt as to their guilt. The 
proposition is preposterous and I will not insult your 
intelligence by arguing it any further. 

Now, then, there is another thing I want to keep before 
you. When a man has a little suspicion in his mind he 
tortures everything ; he tortures the most innocent actions 
into the evidence of crime. Suspicion is a kind of intel 
lectual dye that colors every thought that comes in contact 
with it. I remember I once had a conversation with 
Surgeon-General Hammond, in which he went on to state 
that he thought many people were confined in asylums, 
charged with insanity, who were perfectly sane. I asked 
him how he accounted for it. Said he, " Physicians are 
sent for to examine the man, and they are told before they 
get to him that he is crazy ; therefore, the moment they 
look upon him they are hunting for insane acts and not 
sane acts ; they are looking not to see how naturally he 
acts, but how unnaturally he acts." They are poisoned 
with the suspicion that he is insane, and if he coughs 
twice, or if he gets up and walks about uneasily his mind 
is a little, unsettled ; something wrong ! If he suddenly gets 
angry SURE THING ! When a man believes himself to be 



134 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

or knows himself to be sane, and is charged with insanity, 
the very warmth, the very heat of his denial will convince 
thousands of people that he is insane. He suddenly 
finds himself insecure, and the very insecurity that he 
feels makes him act strangely. He finds in a moment 
that explanation only complicates. He finds that his 
denial is worthless; that his friends are suspicious, and 
that under pretence of his own good he is to be seized and 
incarcerated. Many a man as sane as you or I has under 
such circumstances gone to madness. It is a hard thing to 
explain. The more you talk about it the more outsiders 
having a suspicion are convinced that you are insane. It 
is much the same way when a man is charged with crime. 
It is heralded through all the papers, " this man is a 
robber and a thief." Why do they put it in the papers ? 
Put anything good in a paper about Mr. Smith, and Mr. 
Smith is the only man who will buy it. Put in something 
bad about Mr. Smith and they will have to run the press 
nights to supply his neighbors with copies. The bad sells. 
The good does not. Then you must remember another 
thing : That these papers are large ; some of them several 
hundred columns, for all I know sixty or a hundred. 
Just imagine the pains it would take and the money it 
would cost to get facts enough to fill a paper like that. 
Economy will not permit of it. They publish what they 
imagine they can sell. As a rule, people would rather heaf 
something bad than something good. It is a splendid 
certificate to our race that rascality is still considered news. 
If they only put in honest actions as news it would be 
a certificate that honesty was rare ; but as long as they 
publish the bad as news it is a certificate that the majority 
of mankind is still good. 

Now, to be charged with a crime and to be suddenly 
deserted by your friends, and to know that you are abso 
lutely innocent, is almost enough to drive the sanest man 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 135 

mad. I want you to think what these defendants have 
suffered in these long months. If the men who started 
this prosecution, if the men who originally poisoned the 
press of the country, feel that they have been rewarded 
simply because innocent men have suffered agony, let them 
so feel. I do not envy them their feelings. 

There is another thing, gentlemen : The prosecution 
have endeavored to terrorize this jury. The effort has 
been deliberately made to terrorize you and every one of 
you. It was plainly intimated by Mr. Ker that this jury 
had been touched, and that if you failed to convict, you 
would be suspected of having been bribed. That was an 
effort to terrorize you, and the foundation of that argument 
was a belief in your moral cowardice. No man would 
have made it to you unless he believed at heart you were 
cowards. What does that argument mean ? I cannot say 
whether you will be suspected or not ; but, in my opinion, 
a juror in the discharge of his duty has no right to think 
of any consequence personal to himself. That is the 
beauty of doing right. You need not think of anything 
else. The future will take care of itself. I do not agree 
with the suggestion that it is better that you should be 
applauded for a crime than blamed for a virtue. Suppose 
you should gain the applause of the whole United States 
by giving a false verdict ; how would the echo of that 
applause strike your heart ? I do not believe that it is wiser 
to preserve the appearance of being honest than to be 
honest with the appearance against you. I would rather 
be absolutely honest, and have everybody in the world 
think I was dishonest, than to be dishonest and have the 
whole world believe in my honesty. You see you have 
got to stay with yourself all the time. You have to be 
your own company, and to be compelled to know that 
your company is dishonest, that your company is in 
famous, is not pleasant. I would rather know I was 



136 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

honest and have the whole world put upon the forehead of 
my reputation the brand of rascality. 

You were also told that the people generally have an 
ticipated your verdict. 

That is simply an effort to terrorize you, so that 
you will say, "If the people think that way, of course 
we must think that way. No matter about the evi 
dence. No matter if we have sworn to do justice. We 
will all try and be popular." You were told in effect 
that the people were expecting a conviction, and the only 
inference is that you ought not to disappoint the public, 
and that it is your duty to piece and patch the testimony 
and violate your oath, rather than to disappoint the 
general expectation. Mr. Merrick told you you were 
trying these defendants, but that the people of the whole 
country were trying you. What was the object of that 
statement? Simply to terrorize this jury. What was the 
basis of that statement ? Why, that not one of you have 
got the pluck to do right. It was not a compliment, 
gentlemen. It was intended for one, no doubt, but when 
you see where it was born, it becomes an insult. I do not 
believe you are going to care what the people say, or 
whether the people expect a verdict of guilty, or not. You 
have been told that they do. I might with equal propriety 
tell you that they do not. I might with equal propriety 
say there is not a man in this court-house who expects a 
verdict of guilty. With equal propriety I might say, and 
will say, that there is not a man on this jury who expects 
there will be a verdict of guilty. But what has that to do 
with us? 

Try this case according to the evidence ; and if you 
know that every man, woman, and child in the United 
States want an acquittal, and you are satisfied of the 
guilt of the defendants, it is your duty to find them 
guilty. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 137 

If I were on the jury I would, in the language of the 
greatest man that ever trod this earth 

Strip myself to death, as to a bed 
That longing have been sick for, 

before J would give a false verdict. 

Again, Mr. Merrick said, after having stated in effect 
that a majority of the people were convinced of the guilt of 
the defendants, that the majority of the men of the United 
States do not often think wrong. What was the object? 
To terrorize you. That is all. This verdict is to be 
carried by universal suffrage ; you are to let the men who 
are not on oath decide for the men who are ; to let the men 
who have not heard the testimony give the verdict of the 
men who have heard the testimony. What else ? Again 
the same gentleman said : 

"There is to be a verdict, a verdict of the people for or against us." 
What is the object? To frighten you. Let the people 
have their verdict ; you must have yours. If your verdict 
is founded on the evidence it will be upheld by every 
honest man in the world who knows the evidence. You 
need certainly to place very little value upon the opinion 
of those who do not know the evidence. Mr. Merrick also 
suggested I will hardly put it that way he was brave 
enough to hope that you have not been bribed. Brave 
enough to hope that ! All this, gentlemen, is done simply 
for the purpose of terrorizing you. I tell you to find a 
verdict according to the evidence, no matter whom it hits, 
no matter whom it destroys, no matter whom it kills. Save 
your own consciences alive. Your verdict must rest on the 
evidence that has been introduced, and all else must be 
thrown aside, disregarded, like forgotten dreams. All that 
you have read, all the press has printed, must find no 
lodgment in your brains. You must regard them no more 
than you would the noises of animals made in sleep. You 
must stand by the testimony. You must stand by the law 
that the Court gives you. That is all we ask. These 



138 CLOSING ADDRESS W FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

articles in the newspapers were not printed in the hope 
that justice might be done. They were printed in the hope 
that you may be influenced to disregard the evidence, in 
the hope that finally slander might be justified by your 
verdict. Gentlemen, you ought to remember that in this 
case you are absolutely supreme. You have nothing to do 
with the supposed desires of any men, or the supposed 
desires of any department, or the supposed desires of any 
Government, or the supposed desires of any President, or 
the supposed desires of the public. You have nothing to 
do with those things. You have to do only with the 
evidence. Here all power is powerless except your own. 
Position is naught. If the defendants are guilty, and the 
evidence convinces you that they are, your verdict must be 
in accordance with the evidence. You have no right to 
take into consideration the consequences. When you are 
asked to find a verdict contrary to the evidence, when you 
are asked to piece out the testimony with your suspicions, 
then you are bound to take into consideration all the conse 
quences. When appeals are made to your prejudice and to 
your fears, then the consequences should rise like mount 
ains before you. Then you should think of the lives you 
are asked to wreck, of the homes your verdict would 
darken, of the hearts it would desolate, of the cheeks it 
would wet with tears, and of the reputations it would blast 
and blacken, of the wives it would worse than widow, and 
of the children it would more than orphan. When you 
are asked to find a false verdict think of these conse- 
sequences. When you are asked to please the public think 
of these consequences. When you are asked to please the 
press think of these consequences. When you are asked 
to act from fear, hatred, prejudice, malice, or cowardice 
think then of these consequences. But whenever you do 
right, consequences are nothing to you, because you are 
not responsible for them. Whoever does right clothes 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 139 

himself in a suit of armor that the arrows of consequences 
can never penetrate. When you do wrong you are respon 
sible for all the consequences, to the last sigh and the last 
tear. If you do right nature is responsible. If you do 
wrong you are responsible. 

You were told, too, by Mr. Merrick that you should have 
no sympathy ; that you should be like icicles ; that you 
should be godlike. A cool conception of deity ! In that 
connection this heartless language, as it appears to me, 
was used : 

" Man when he undertakes to judge his brother-man undertakes to 
perform the highest duty given to humanity." 

Good! 

He should perform that duty without fear, without prej 
udice, without hatred, and without malice. He should 
perform that duty honestly, grandly, nobly. 

I read on : 

" Inclosed within the jury-box or on the bench he is separated 
from the great mass of mankind " 

Then you should not pay any attention to the opinion of 
the public. If you are separated you should not be 
dominated by the press. If you are separated you should 
not be disturbed by the desires of anybody. But he 
continues : 
"and sentiments of brotherhood die away." 

About that time you would be nice men : 

"Standing above humanity and nearest God he looks down upon 
his fellow, and judges them without any reference to the sorrow his 
judgment may bring." 

That is not my doctrine. The higher you get in the 
scale of being, the grander, the nobler, and the tenderer 
you will become. Kindness is always an evidence of 
greatness. Malice is the property of small souls. Who 
ever allows the feeling of brotherhood to die in his heart 
becomes a wild beast. You know it and so do I : 
" Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword, 
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, 
Become them with one-half so good a grace as mercy does." 



140 CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

And yet the only mercy we ask in this case, gentlemen, 
is the mercy of an honest verdict. That is all. 

I appeal to you for my clients, because the evidence 
shows that they are honest men. I appeal to you for my 
client, Stephen W. Dorsey, because the evidence shows 
that he is a man, a man with an intellectual horizon and a 
mental sky, a man of genius, generous, and honest. And 
yet this prosecution, this Government, these attorneys 
representing the majesty of the Republic, representing the 
only real Republic that ever existed, have asked you, 
gentlemen of the jury, not only to violate the law of the 
land, they have asked you to violate the law of nature. 
They have maligned mercy. They have laughed at mercy. 
They have trampled upon the holiest human ties, and they 
have even made light of the fact that a wife in this trial 
has sat by her husband's side. Think of it. 

There is a painting in the Louvre, a painting of desola 
tion, of despair and love. It represents the night of the 
crucifixion. The world is represented in shadow. The 
stars are dead, and yet in the darkness is seen a kneeling 
form. It is Mary Magdalene with loving lips and hands 
pressed against the bleeding feet of Christ. The skies 
were never dark enough nor starless enough ; the storm 
was never fierce enough nor wild enough, the quick bolts 
of heaven were never lurid enough, and arrows of slander 
never flew thick enough to drive a noble woman from her 
husband's side. And so it is in all of human speech, the 
holiest word is WIFE. 

And now, gentlemen, I have examined this testimony, I 
have examined every charge in the indictment against my 
clients not only, but every charge made outside of the indict 
ment. I have shown you that the indictment is one thing and 
the evidence another. I have shown you that not one single 
charge has been substantiated against John W. Dorsey. I 
have demonstrated to you that not one solitary charge has 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN FIRST STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 141 

been established against Stephen W. Dorsey not one. I 
believe that I have shown to you that there is no founda 
tion for a verdict of guilty against any defendant in this 
case. 

I have spoken now, gentlemen, the last words that will 
be spoken in public for my clients, the last words that will 
be spoken in public for any of these defendants, the last 
words that will be heard in their favor until I hear from 
the lips of this foreman two eloquent words Not Guilty^ 

And now thanking the Court for many acts of personal 
kindness, and you, gentlemen of the jury, for your almost 
infinite patience, I leave my clients with all they have and 
with all they love and with all who love them in your 
hands. 



OPENING ADDRESS IN 
SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 



OPENING ADDRESS TO THE JURY. 
SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Washington, D. C., Dec. 21, 1882. 

MAY it please the Court and gentlemen of the jury: 
We consider that the right to be tried by jury 
is the right preservative of all other rights. The right to be 
tried by our peers, by men taken from the body of the county, 
by men whose minds have not been saturated with prejudice, 
by men who have no hatred, no malice to gratify, no revenge 
to wreak, no debts to pay, we consider an inestimable right, 
regarding the jury as the bulwark of civil liberty. Take that 
right from the defendants in any case and they are left at the 
mercy of power, at the mercy of prejudice. The experience 
of thousands of years, the experience of the English- 
speaking people, of the Anglo-Saxon people, the only 
people now upon the globe with a genius for law, is that 
the jury is a breastwork behind which an honest man is 
safe from the attack of an entire nation. We esteem it, 
I say, a privilege, a great and invaluable right, that we 
have you twelve men to stand between us and the prejudice 
of the hour. We believe that you will hear this case without 
passion, without hatred, and that you will decide it absolutely 
in accordance with the law and with the evidence. This is 
the tribunal absolutely supreme. In a case of this character, 
gentlemen, you are the judges of what is the law ; you are 
the judges of what are the facts ; you are the absolute judges 
of the worth of testimony ; and you have not only the right, 
but it is your duty to utterly disregard the testimony of any 



146 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

man that you do not believe to be true. You, I say, are the 
exclusive judges, and for that reason we ask, we beg you, to 
hear all this testimony, to pay heed to every word, and then 
decide, not as somebody else desires, but as your judgment 
dictates, and as your conscience demands. Here before this 
jury all letters of Attorneys-General, all desires of Presidents, 
all popular clamor, all prejudice, no matter from what source, 
is turned simply to dust and ashes, and you are to regard 
them all simply as though they never had been. 

There is one other thing. Some people are naturally 
suspicious. It is an infinitely mean trait in human nature. 
Suspicion is only another form of cowardice. The man who 
suspects constantly suspects because he is afraid. Whenever 
you find a man with a free, frank, generous, brave nature, 
you will find that man without suspicion. Suspicion is the 
soil in which prejudice grows, and prejudice is the upas tree 
in whose shade reason fails and justice dies. And allow me 
to say that no amount of suspicion amounts to evidence. No 
case is to be tried upon suspicion. No case is to be tried 
upon suspicious facts. No case is to be tried on scraps, and 
patches, and shreds, and ravelings. There must be evidence ; 
there must be absolute, solid testimony. A case is tried 
according to the rocks of fact and not according to the clouds 
and fogs of suspicion. No juror has a right to make a de 
cision until he feels his feet firmly fixed upon the bed-rock of 
truth. 

So I say, gentlemen, that we are glad of the opportunity to 
make a statement of this case to you, and to tell you exactly 
the manner in which my clients became interested in what is 
known as the star- route service. You have to be guided in 
this case by the indictment. That is the star and compass of 
this trial. You cannot go outside of it. The evidence must 
be confined to the charges contained in that instrument. If 
you find us guilty of a conspiracy, it must be such a conspir 
acy as is set forth in that indictment. That indictment is the 
charter of your authority, and you have no right to find us 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 147 

guilty of anything in the world except that which is therein 
charged. 

Now, let me give you an exceedingly brief statement of 
what we are here for. It is charged in that indictment that 
all these defendants, including one who has been discharged 
by a jury, who has been found not guilty, Mr. Turner, in 
cluding another who is dead, Mr. Peck, conspired together 
for the purpose of defrauding the United States, and we are 
met at the threshold with the statement that conspiracy is very 
hard to prove. It is like any other offence, gentlemen. They 
say conspirators generally meet in secret. My reply to that 
is that people generally steal in secret, and the fact that they 
stole in secret was never deemed an excuse for not proving 
the offence before they were found guilty. You can see that 
this is precisely like any other offence in the world. Men 
when they commit crimes endeavor to get away from the 
public eye. They are in love with darkness. They do not 
carry torches in front of them. And it is so in every crime. 
But whether conspiracy is difficult to prove or not, it must be 
established before you can find the defendants guilty. That 
is a difficulty that the Government must overcome by testi 
mony. The jury must not endeavor to overcome it by a 
verdict. And I say here to-day that the same rule of evi 
dence applies to this case as to any other, and you must be 
satisfied by the testimony the Government will offer that these 
men conspired together ; that they entered into an arrange 
ment wherein the part of each was marked out, and that that 
arrangement was contrary to law ; and that the object of that 
arrangement was to defraud the Government of the United 
States. 

This indictment is kind enough to tell us the means that 
were employed to carry out that conspiracy. How did they 
find these means, gentlemen? They must have had some 
evidence on which they relied. If they had evidence enough 
to convince them, they must introduce that evidence here, 
and if that evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt 



148 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that these men conspired, then you will find them guilty ; 
otherwise not. The difficulty of establishing it is something 
with which you have nothing to do. How did they conspire ? 
What were the means they had agreed to use ? Let us see. 
Thomas J. Brady was the Second Assistant Postmaster- 
General. The Postmaster-General was not included in the 
scheme, consequently they must deceive him. The Sixth 
Auditor was not included in this conspiracy, and as by virtue 
of his office it was his duty to go over all of these accounts 
and pass upon the legality of each item, it was necessary to 
deceive him. According to the indictment Mr. Turner was a 
clerk in the department, and his part of the rascality was, on 
the jackets inclosing petitions, to make false statements in 
regard to the contents of the petitions inclosed. The object 
of that being that when the Second Assistant Postmaster- 
General, Mr. Brady, exhibited these jackets to the Postmaster - 
General, it being considered that he would not have time to 
read the petition, he would be misled by the false statements 
on the cover touching the contents. 

The next step was for the contractors to get up false peti 
tions ; that is, petitions to be signed by persons who did not 
live along the route upon which the mail was to be carried. 
These petitions also to be forged ; that is to say, the names of 
persons put there by another, or the names of fictitious per 
sons written, when in fact no such persons existed. 

The next thing to do was to write false and fraudulent 
letters ; to induce others to write such letters ; the next thing, 
to make false affidavits ; and the next thing, to make false 
orders those to be made by Mr. Brady and these false 
orders were to have, as a false foundation, false petitions, false 
letters, false communications, false affidavits, and fraudulently 
written representations. 

That is the indictment. That is the scheme said to have 
been entered into by my clients with all of these defendants, 
and the object being to defraud the Government of the 
United States. Now, in order to establish that scheme, it 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 149 

would be necessary for the Government to prove it. Not to 
assert it. Neither have you the right to infer it. No man can 
be inferred out of his liberty. No man can be inferred into 
the penitentiary. That is not the way to deprive a man of 
his reputation and of liberty by inference. They must prove 
it. They must prove that the petitions were false. They must 
prove that the letters were fraudulent. They must prove that 
the orders rested upon those false and fraudulent petitions, 
letters, and affidavits ; and they must prove that Mr. Brady 
knew them to be false. 

It is also stated in this indictment that service was to be 
paid for when it was not performed ; that service was discon 
tinued and a month's extra pay allowed ; that fines were im 
posed and afterwards set aside because the contractors agreed 
to pay fifty per cent, of such fines to General Brady. I will 
speak of them when I come to them. 

Now, there is a clear statement. What part, then, did my 
clients play in this scheme ? I will tell you. It is charged 
in the indictment that John M. Peck was in this scheme, 
and, although he is dead, whatever he did, I imagine, can 
be established by the Government. A man can be found 
guilty, I understand, of having entered into a conspiracy 
with another, although the other be dead, and the living 
man can be convicted. 

Now, it is stated in the outset that my clients never had 
been engaged in carrying the mail and that is regarded as 
an exceedingly suspicious circumstance. A man has got 
to commence some time, if he ever goes into the business, 
and if this doctrine be true, the first bid that a man ever 
makes is evidence that he has entered into a conspiracy. 
Suppose, on the other hand, my clients have long been en 
gaged in this business. What would the Government 
counsel then have said ? They would have said, gentle 
men, that they had been engaged for years in the business. 
They knew all the tricks that were played, and conse- 



150 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

quently they were the very persons to form a conspiracy. 
And that is the wonderful thing about suspicion. It 
changes every fact. It colors every word it reads and every 
paper at which it looks; and no matter what are the facts, 
the moment they are regarded with a suspicious mind they 
prove what the man suspects. 

So, then, the first charge is that we had never been in 
the business, and consequently our going into the business 
must have been the result of a conspiracy. Gentlemen, if 
the doctrine be laid down that it is dangerous for a man to 
make a bid the result of that doctrine will be to double the 
expenses of the Government in carrying the mails. All 
that will be necessary, then, is for the old bidders to com 
bine. They will know that there is no danger of any new 
men interfering with them, because the new men will be 
immediately indicted for conspiracy and the old men will 
have the field to themselves. You can see that this is in 
finitely absurd. There is only one step beyond such ab 
surdity, and that is annihilation. No man can possess his 
faculties and get beyond that absurdity, if it is evidence of 
conspiracy, because it is the first thing. 

As a matter of fact, however, John M. Peck had been 
engaged in the mail business. He was engaged in the 
business before 1874. He had been interested with others 
before that time. He was interested in several important 
routes from 1874 to 1878. It was in the fall of 1877 that he 
made arrangements to bid at the next letting. He was a 
business man. He was not an adventurer. He was sec 
retary at that time of the Arkansas Central Railroad. He 
had been, I believe, for two sessions a member of the Ar- 
kansasLegislature. He was in good standing, solvent, and 
regarded as an honest man. In 1874 he was interested in 
the bids and, as I said, was engaged in carrying the mails 
at the time these contracts were entered into. He became 
acquainted with John W. Dorsey, I believe, in 1874. When 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 15! 

he made up his mind to put in more bids for the letting of 
1878 he went after John W. Dorsey, and they met together 
in the city of New York, I believe, in the month of Sep 
tember, and agreed that they would put in some bids for 
the letting of 1878. Peck was acquainted with John R. 
Miner and had been acquainted with him for a considerable 
time. Mr. Miner wanted to go into some other business 
than that in which he was then engaged, and those three 
men made up their minds to bid. Was there anything 
criminal in that ? Nothing. Any men anywhere have the 
right to combine ; the right to form a partnership ; the 
right to come together for the purpose of making proposals 
for carrying the United States mails. Of course you will 
all admit that. Now, that is what they did. There was noth 
ing criminal, nothing secret, nothing underhanded. Every 
thing was above board, open, and in the daylight. There 
is no conspiracy yet, and we will show that. 

John M. Peck had been troubled with a lung disease. He 
had gotten much better in September, and thought that he 
was almost well. Later in the fall he took a severe cold 
and got much worse, and from that difficulty, I believe, he 
never wholly recovered. He went, however, to Colorado 
and New Mexico, and finally died. 

Now, let us see about John W. Dorsey. I believe that 
great pains have been taken to say that he was a tinsmith, 
which is a suspicious circumstance. Why ? Is there any 
law against a tinsmith bidding to carry the mails ? Is there 
any such provision in the statute ? And yet that has been 
lugged forward as one of the evidences of a conspiracy in 
this case, and it has been lugged forward in a way to cast 
some disgrace upon this man simply because he was a 
tinsmith. Well, do you know I have as much respect for 
a good tinsmith as for a good anything. What is the dif 
ference ? Sometimes I have thought I had more respect 
for a good tinsmith than a poor professional man some- 



152 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

times. In this country of all others labor is held to be ab 
solutely honorable, and I think a thousand times more of a 
man who works in the street and takes care of his wife and 
children than I do of somebody else who dresses well and 
lives on the labor of others, and then is impudent enough 
to endeavor to disgrace the source of his own bread. I 
think the man who eats the bread of idleness is under a 
certain obligation to speak well of labor. And yet we have 
the spectacle in this very court of the Attorney General of 
the United States endeavoring to cast a little stain upon 
this man. As a matter of fact, and I am almost sorry to 
say it, John W. Dorsey is not a tinsmith. I am almost 
sorry to make the admission. He happened to be a mer 
chant, which is no more honorable but somewhat easier. 
He dealt in stoves and tinware. That, gentlemen, is his 
crime, and upon that rests the terrible suspicion that he is 
a conspirator. And I want to say more, that his reputation 
for honesty, his reputation for fair dealing, is as good as 
that of any other man in the State in which he resides. 
He made up his mind to cast his fortunes with John M. 
Peck and with John R. Miner and make some bids for 
carrying the mails of the United States. That is all there 
is about it. 

There is, however, another suspicious circumstance, and 
that is that John W. Dorsey was the brother of Stephen 
W. Dorsey, and Stephen W. Dorsey at that time was a 
Senator of the United States. That is another suspicious 
circumstance. Whenever you find a man with a Senator 
for a brother, put him down as a conspirator. Another 
suspicious circumstance, John M. Peck was the brother-in 
law of S. W. Dorsey, absolutely married a sister of Mrs. 
Dorsey, and that was the beginning of this hellish conspir 
acy. It was suspicious. He intended to rob the Govern 
ment when he was courting that girl. 

Now, we come to another man, Mr. John R. Miner, and 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 153 

the suspicious thing about Miner is that he lives in San- 
dusky. But that of itself would be nothing. Dorsey lived 
there once, too. Now, do you not see how they moved to 
that town with the diabolical purpose of swindling this 
great Government ? Miner was not in very good health 
do you not see pretended to be sick so that he could 
leave Sandusky ; and in some way Miner and Dorsey were 
excellent friends another suspicious circumstance; and 
for several years whenever John R. Miner visited Washing 
ton he laid the foundations of this conspiracy by always 
stopping at the house of Senator Dorsey another sus 
picious thing. And do you not recollect the delight, the 
abandon with which Mr. Bliss emphasized the word house, 
when he said that they met at Dorsey 's house? I had a 
great notion to get up and plead guilty on that emphasis. 
Miner came here. He and Peck were acquainted ; and 
wherever you find four men acquainted, gentlemen, look 
out, there is trouble. When Miner came here he went 
directly to the house of Senator Dorsey. I admit it with all 
the damning consequences that flow from that admission. 
He did not even go to a hotel. He went directly to Dor- 
sey's house. I want that in all your minds, because the 
prosecution regards that as one of the foundation facts in 
this conspiracy, and while admitting it, do you not see how 
much I save them in the way of evidence. 

And there is another damning fact connected with this 
case. Dorsey in the top of his house had set apart one 
room for an office. It was up two or three pair of stairs. I 
think he established his office there to shield himself a 
little from the people who usually call on a Senator in the 
city of Washington. But he found that he put himself to 
more trouble than he did them, so he moved his office to 
the lower part of the building, and when John Miner got 
to that house he occupied a room right next to that office 
upstairs, and sometimes he went in there and wrote. Now, 



154 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

you see, gentlemen, how that conspiracy was planted ; how 
the branches sprang out of the windows of that room and 
covered all the territory of the United States. I might as 
well admit that frightful fact. I do not know that they 
know that, but I might as well admit it, because we want 
the worst to come first. Before Miner came here he wrote 
a letter. There is another place to put a pin of suspicion. 
He wrote a letter to S. W. Dorsey ; that is, it was Miner or 
Peck, I have forgotten which, and may be that very forget- 
fulness of mine is another evidence of conspiracy. A letter 
was written either by Miner or Peck to Stephen W. 
Dorsey, saying that they were going to bid ; that Peck was 
not well enough to be here at that particular time, and would 
he be kind enough to hand that letter to some man in 
whom he had confidence and let that man get such inform 
ation as he could with regard to the routes upon which 
they expected to bid all these Western star routes. 

Now, what did S. W. Dorsey do? There was a man in 
town by the name of Boone. He sent for Mr. Boone, and I 
believe that Mr. Boone went to Mr. Dorsey's house, and that 
Dorsey handed him that letter in his house. And what 
was the object of the letter ? For Boone to get information 
regarding these routes. Well, now, what did Boone do ? 
Boone made up a circular which he sent to all the post 
masters, or most of them, through Oregon, Washington 
Territory, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, California, 
Kansas, Nebraska ; that is to say, the Western States and 
Territories ; and in this circular a certain number of ques 
tions were propounded to each postmaster. First, the dis 
tance from that post-office to the next, and from the next 
to the next, and so through the route. Second, the condi 
tion of the roads, whether hilly or level. Third, about the 
snows in winter and the floods in spring. Fourth, the cost 
of hay and corn and oats. Fifth, the wages that would 
have to be paid to the man or men; and it may be some 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 155 

other questions in addition. Now, these circulars were 
sent by Boone to all the postmasters in consequence of a 
letter that he received in Dorsey's house. What for ? So 
that by the time that Miner and Peck and John W. Dorsey 
came they could sit down and bid intelligently upon these 
routes ; so that they would have some information that 
would guide them ; in other words, that they would not 
be compelled to bid at random. 

Now, we will show, gentlemen, that that was done, and 
if at that time there had been a conspiracy, certainly such 
information was of no particular value. Now, that is what 
Mr. Boone did, and I believe that is about all he did at 
that time. There is no conspiracy yet, no fraud yet. It is 
utterly impossible to defraud the Government by getting 
information from postmasters as to the condition of the 
roads, and as to the distance from one post-office to another. 
There is no fraud yet, no conspiracy up to this point. In 
a little while Mr. Miner and Mr. John W. Dorsey appeared. 
Ah, but they say Stephen W. Dorsey was at that time a 
Senator of the United States Yes, he was, and I believe 
he remained Senator until the 4th of March, 1879. When 
his brother came we will show to you that Stephen W. 
Dorsey said to his brother, " I would rather you would not 
bid ; I would much rather that you would keep out of this 
business, because I am a Senator and somebody may find 
fault. Somebody may suspect, and consequently I would 
much rather you would get out of the business." John W. 
Dorsey did not agree with him. He said he did not see 
how that could interfere with him, and that he believed he 
could do well in that business, and the consequence was he 
went on. There is nothing suspicious so far as I can see 
in that. That is what we will show. 

This man being a member of the United States Senate did 
what he did out of pure friendship ; did what he did for his 
brother, what he did for Mr. Peck, and what he did for Mr. 



156 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Miner from pure friendship. I know it is very difficult for 
some people to imagine that any man does anything for 
friendship. They put behind every decent action the crawl 
ing snake of a mean and selfish motive. My opinion of 
human nature is somewhat different. I have known thou 
sands and thousands of men capable of disinterested actions, 
thousands of men that would help a brother, a brother-in-law, 
or a friend, and help them to the extent of their fortune. I 
have known such men and I never supposed such acts could 
be tortured into evidence of meanness. 

The first charge against Stephen W. Dorsey is that he sent 
some bonds and proposals for bids to a postmaster by the 
nameof Clendenning, in the State of Arkansas. The trouble 
with these bonds, as I understand it, was that the amount of 
the bid was not put in the blank in the printed proposal. It 
is claimed by the prosecution that according to the law the 
postmaster has no right to certify to the solvency of the 
security until that blank is filled. I want to explain this so 
that you will understand it. I think I have one of the bonds 
and proposals here. I would like to have the Court see 
exactly the scope of it. [Exhibiting blank form of proposal 

and bond.] The proposal is that the undersigned, , 

whose post-office address is , of the county of , 

and State of , proposes to carry the mails of the United 

States from July i, such a date, to June 30 of such a date, 
being four years, between such and such a place, under the 
advertisement of the Postmaster-General, for the sum of 

dollars per annum. Now, if I understand the matter 

of the Clendenning bonds, they were filled up with the ex 
ception of the blank in which the amount of the bid was to 
be written. That is the charge, as I understand it. Whenever 
a man makes a proposal to carry the mail for four years on a 
certain route, that proposal must be accompanied with a bond 
in a certain amount, and certain men must sign that bond as 
sureties, and then a certain postmaster must certify to the 
solvency of the sureties, the sureties having made oath as to 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 157 

the value of their property. Now, understand that perfectly. 
It is not the bond that a man gives after his bid has been 
accepted. It is a bond that he gives to show that his bid is in 
good faith. That bond is conditioned that if the contract is 
awarded to him he will give another and sufficient bond not 
only, but I believe it is also conditioned that he will carry 
the mail. The charge is and let us get at it just exactly 
that some bonds were sent to a man by the name of Clenden- 
ning, who was a postmaster, and this blank was not filled. Let 
me tell you why. It was the custom and I want your Honor 
to understand that perfectly, because so much was made of it 
before in talk to leave that blank unfilled. It is the blank 
for the amount of the bid. In the advertisement of the Gov 
ernment the penalty of the bond is stated, so that the amount 
of the bid has nothing to do with the penalty in the bond. 
Understand me now. If the bond was for ten thousand 
dollars, it was because that amount had been put in the ad 
vertisement by the Government. It did not depend upon the 
amount of the bid. It had nothing to do with it. The 
amount of the bid threw no light upon the amount of the 
bond. The penalty of the bond was fixed by the Govern 
ment before the bid was made and inserted in the advertise 
ment published by the Government. Why then did they 
not wish to fill up this blank ? This blank, gentlemen, 
told the amount of the bid. Where there are many bidders, 
and an important route, if you let the postmaster who has to 
certify to the sureties know the amount of the bid he might 
sell you. He could go and tell somebody else "I have 
certified to all the sureties on this route, and the lowest bid 
up to this time is fifteen thousand dollars," and the person 
whom he told might go and bid fourteen thousand nint 
hundred and ninety-nine dollars and take the route. Ah, 
but they say the postmaster is not allowed to tell the amount 
of the bid. No. What was the penalty if he did ? He 
would lose his office. Now, here is a postmaster holding an 
office worth, perhaps, a hundred dollars a century, or, per- 



158 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

haps, fifty dollars a year, and by selling information as to one 
bid he might make ten thousand dollars. I do not know 
what he could have made. Certainly the bidders did not 
feel like trusting the secret of their bids to the postmaster 
who certified to the sureties. As a consequence the bond 
was filled up with the penalty according to the advertisement, 
but the blank in which the amount of the bid was to be 
written was not filled, because they wanted the postmaster's 
mind left a blank upon that subject. In other words, that 
blank was left unfilled, not to defraud the Government, but to 
prevent other people from defrauding the bidder. That is all 
there is about it. That is everything about the Clendenning 
bonds. But it may be well enough to state, gentlemen, that 
those Clendenning bonds were never used on a solitary route 
in this indictment, and I believe never anywhere ; that no 
contract was ever awarded upon any one of those proposals. 
The only rascality in the transaction, gentlemen, was the 
failure to fill a blank ; and the reason they failed to fill that 
blank was because they did not want the postmaster to know 
the amount of the bid. Let us come right down to practical 
matters and things. For instance, suppose one of this jury is 
in the stone-cutting business, and the Government should 
issue an advertisement calling for proposals to furnish dressed 
granite, and specify that every man who bid must file a bond 
in a penalty of five thousand dollars to carry out his contract, 
and that that bond must be approved by the postmaster here. 
Suppose it was a contract of great proportions. Would the 
man who bid be willing that the amount of the bid should be 
inserted in the blank to be passed upon by the postmaster ? 
No. Why ? He would not want the postmaster to know it. 
Who else would he not want to know it? He would not 
want his sureties to know it. A man might be standing by 
while the bond was being approved and read the amount of 
the bid. The bidder would be afraid somebody would get at 
those figures and go and underbid him. Every man of com 
mon, ordinary sense knows that. If you made a bid you 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 159 

would not let your sureties know the amount and you would 
not give the amount to the keeping of a postmaster, neither 
would you leave it to chance or accident. You would say, 
"I will leave the amount a blank. I will keep it in my 
mind, and when the paper comes into my hands for the last 
time I will write it in there and fold it and seal it and give it to 
the Government." That is what every sensible and prudent 
man would do, and what has been done for years. And yet 
that act is brought forward as something to stain the reputa 
tion of an honest man ; something to strike down as with a 
sword the character of an ex -Senator. They even say he 
wrote upon paper that had the mark of the United States 
Senate Chamber upon it. That is only another evidence that 
there was nothing wrong in it. It was stated, too, in the 
opening of this case, that an affidavit was made upon paper 
that bore the mark of the National Hotel of this city. Think 
of such a damning circumstance as that! Well, gentlemen, 
so much for the Clendenning bonds. We will prove that the 
blank was left unfilled on purpose, not to defraud the Govern 
ment, but to prevent other people from defrauding us. Let 
me say in that connection that there was an investigation in 
1878 upon this very question. The Clendenning bonds were 
brought up. Testimony was heard, and we will be able to 
show you the facts that I have stated. Then, if I am right, 
gentlemen, there is nothing in it ; and when the opening 
statement was made the Government knew, just as well as I 
know, that there was nothing in it ; at least they ought to 
have known it. Probably it is not proper for me to say they 
knew it, because men get so prejudiced, so warped, so 
twisted that it is hard to tell what they know or what they 
do not know. But that has nothing to do with this case and, 
in my judgment, will never be admitted by the Court. If it is 
admitted by the Court we will establish exactly what I have 
told you. So much for the Clendenning bonds. Do not for 
get that the penalty of the bond was put in by the Govern 
ment. Do not forget that the amount of the bid was leA 



l6o OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

blank simply to protect ourselves. Do not forget another 
thing : That leaving that blank unfilled could not by any 
possible perad venture injure the Government. The bond was 
just as good with that proposal unfilled at the time the 
sureties signed it as though it had been filled. It had to be 
filled before it was finally given to the Government or else 
there would be no bid. If there was no bid, then no obliga 
tion rested upon the sureties. Certainly they could not be 
harmed, and if there was no bid certainly the Government 
could not be harmed ; unless the bid should have happened to 
be lower than any received ; and yet out of that nothing, out 
of that one bramble, a forest of rascality has been manufac 
tured. Gentlemen, that is the result of suspicion when it is 
hoed by malice and watered by hatred. 

The next suspicious circumstance, gentlemen, is that we 
bid. That is a suspicious circumstance. Miner bid, Peck 
bid, and John W. Dorsey bid. And the suspicious circum 
stance is that they did not bid against each other. Why 
should they ? I was at an auction the other day and un 
consciously bid against myself, but I did not think it any 
evidence of rascality on my part ; I thought it tended to 
show that I was not attending strictly to business, and yet 
it is brought forward as a suspicious circumstance that 
these gentlemen did not bid against themselves. Another 
suspicious circumstance is that they bid in their individual 
names. That is the way all the bidding is done, I believe. 
I believe every bond has to be signed by the individuals 
and not by any partnership. That I believe to be one ot 
the regulations of the department. Well, there is no ras 
cality yet, as far as I can see. Now, when the contract is 
accepted I will come to the bidding question again the 
contractor has to give a bond. One of those bonds will be 
put in evidence in this case. You will see what the con 
tractor is bound to do. Then it can be subcontracted. 
Vou will find that the contract given by the subcontractor 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. l6l 

to the department is not a hundredth part as severe as the 
bond the contractor gives to the Government. In the con 
tract that we give to the Government certain things are 
provided. You will find that a copy of it will be iiitro 
duced. The contractor is left to the mercy of discretion- 
I believe that is the word of the Postmaster-General 
You will find that if he fails to carry the mail one trip, nc 
matter by what he may be prevented, by flood or storm or 
fire, he is not to be paid for it. Although he is there ready 
with his men and horses, if he is prevented by the ele 
ments he has no pay. If the Postmaster-General thinks he 
ought to have carried it when he did not, he can take from 
his pay three times the value of the trip. He can take 
from him one quarter's pay. He reserves in his own breast 
the power to declare that contract null and void, because in 
his judgment the contractor has not done his duty. Every 
thing is left to him. The man who signs that contract 
gives a mortgage on his life, liberty, and pursuit of happi 
ness. He has no redress. I simply call your attention to 
this to show you the obligation that a contractor takes 
upon himself. We will show you that he is under obliga 
tion to discharge any carrier that the Government does not 
like ; that he has no right to carry any package or any 
letter that can go by mail ; that he is to forfeit a trip when 
it is not run, or not to exceed three times the pay of a 
trip ; that he is to forfeit one-quarter of a trip if the run 
ning time is so far behind that he fails to make connection 
with the next mail ; that if he violates any of these provi 
sions he forfeits a penalty equal to a quarter's pay, or if he 
violates any other provision touching the carriage of the 
mail and the time and manner thereof, without a satisfac 
tory explanation in due time to the Postmaster-General, he 
can visit a penalty in his discretion, and the forfeitures 
may be increased in the penalty to a higher amount, in the 
discretion of the Postmaster-General, according to the 



162 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

nature or frequency of the failure and the importance of 
the mail. Provided that, except as specified, and except as 
provided by law, no penalty shall exceed three times the 
pay of a trip in each case. 

It is also agreed by the said contractor and his sureties 
that the Postmaster- General may annul the contract for 
repeated failures ; for violating the postal laws ; for dis 
obeying the instructions of the Post-Office Department ; 
for refusing to discharge a carrier when required by the 
department ; for transmitting commercial intelligence or 
matter which should go by mail ; for transporting persons 
so engaged as aforesaid ; whenever the contractor shall be 
come a postmaster, &c. 

It is further stipulated and agreed that such annulment 
shall not impair the right to claim damages from said con 
tractor and his sureties under this contract ; but such 
damages may, for the purpose of set-off or counter-claim 
in the settlement of any claim of said contractor or his 
sureties against the United States, whether arising under 
this contract or otherwise, be assessed and liquidated by 
the Auditor of the Treasury for the Post-Office Depart 
ment. 

And it is further stipulated and agreed by the said con 
tractor and his sureties that the contract may, in the 
discretion of the Postmaster-General, be continued in force 
beyond its express terms for a period not exceeding six 
months. You will see, gentlemen, how perfectly, how 
absolutely, the contractor is in the power of the department. 
The Government enforces its contracts. No matter how 
many years may elapse they are still after the sureties and 
are still after the principal. Nothing relieves a man but 
death. Only a little while ago a case was decided in the 
Supreme Court of which I will speak to you. An importer 
of sugar gave the importers' bond to pay the duty upon 
that sugar. By the custom of trade, sugar is sold in bond 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 163 

The importer sold to a third person and the third person 
went to get the sugar. By law he could only take it after 
paying the tax ; and yet one of the officers of the Gov 
ernment, contrary to law, allowed him to take the sugar 
without paying the tax. The Supreme Court has just held 
that the original importer and his sureties are liable to pay 
that tax the man who took the sugar out having become 
bankrupt although the sugar was given to the second 
party simply by a violation of law, and that law was vio 
lated by one of the officers of the custom-house without 
the knowledge or consent of the original importer. I tell 
you, gentlemen, whenever a man gives a bond to this 
Government the Government stays with him. The Gov 
ernment does not die ; the Government does not get tired ; 
the Government does not get weary. The Government 
can afford to wait, and the poor man with the bond hang 
ing over him cannot go into business, cannot get credit, 
but just lingers out a life of expectation, of hope, and of 
disappointment. I trust none of you will ever sign a bond 
to the Government. There is another thing, gentlemen. 
If you bid on a hundred routes and they are given to you 
and you put the service on ninety-nine of the routes and 
carry it in accordance with the contract, and yet fail on 
the hundredth route, the Postmaster-General has a right to 
declare you a failing contractor. A failing contractor on 
the hundredth route ? Yes. On any more ? Yes ; on 
every one. And whoever is declared a failing contractor 
on one route is by virtue of that declaration a failing con 
tractor on all. They are all taken from him. So that 
when a man bids for more than one route, for instance, a 
hundred or a thousand, and gets them and carries them all 
absolutely according to his contract but one, he can be de 
clared a failing contractor on all. What does that mean ? 
It means not simply ruin to him, but ruin to every one of 
his sureties, unless they are in a condition to go on aad 



164 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

carry the mail. I want you to understand something of 
the obligation of a contractor with the Government of the 
United States. 

Now, I come to the bidding. These bids were made with 
a full understanding of the obligation of a bidder. Messrs. 
Miner, Peck, and John W. Dorsey bid, I believe, on about 
twelve hundred routes. You see you are in great luck in 
bidding if you get one route in fifty that you bid upon. In 
the first place, there are about ten thousand star routes. I 
do not know that it is too much to say that the number of 
bids runs up into the hundreds of thousands ; somewhere 
in that neighborhood. Hundreds of men often bid on one 
route. Consequently, nobody who bids expects to get more 
than a few of the routes for which the}' bid. Now, is there 
the slightest evidence in the statement of the Government 
as to the frauds in this bidding ? Let me tell you how 
some frauds have been committed. Suppose, for instance, 
this was a fraudulent business, and Miner, Peck, and 
Dorsey were bidding. Let me explain it to you. I want 
you to know it. All there is in this case is simply to have 
you understand it. That is all there is. And if you do 
not agree with me when we get through the case I shall 
simply think that you have not comprehended it. Say that 
four men bid on the same route, one man four thousand dol- 
ars, another man three thousand dollars, another man two 
thousand dollars, and another man one thousand dollars. 

Now, the man who bids one thousand dollars is of no 
account, has not a dollar in the world, and so when the bid 
is given to him he does not want it. He is what they call 
a straw man. The law provides then that the next man 
may have it. The law does not provide that he must take 
it. He may have it if he wants to, but you cannot force 
him to take it, because he is not the lowest bidder. He is 
the two thousand dollar man. He is another straw gentle 
man. He does not want it. Then the Government offers 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 165 

it to the next man at three thousand dollars. He is an 
other chap made of hay. He says he doesn't want it. 
Understand the Government cannot force these straw and 
hay men to take it. Then they go to the fourth fellow, 
who bid four thousand dollars. It is a good thing at four 
thousand, and he says, "Yes; I will take it." That is what 
they call fraudulent bidding. If you had found Dorsey 
and Miner and Peck bidding on the same route and one of 
them failing and another one taking it, you would not only 
have suspected fraud, but you would have known it. Now, 
if it is a badge of fraud for them to bid upon the same 
route and apparently against each other, I will ask you if 
it is not a badge of fair dealing that they were not found 
bidding against each other. They bid on about twelve hun 
dred routes, and much to their astonishment they got one 
hundred and thirty-four contracts. 

You have heard here a great deal of talk about the num 
ber of men and horses. We will show you all about it. 
Men differ upon this subject. If men did not differ upon it 
at all these bids would be alike. Instead of being a dozen 
bids, all different, and differing sometimes as much as ten, 
twenty, thirty, forty, or a hundred dollars or more, they 
would bid the same. If they all agreed on the number of 
horses and men it would take, and about what it would 
cost, they would bid about alike, wouldn't they ? But 
when they are bidding they honestly differ. One man says 
it would take twenty horses, and another says "no, it will 
take forty." Do you not know that the number of horses 
depends a great deal upon the kind of man who makes the 
estimate. Here is a man who is hard and brutal, and he 
says a horse can do so much work. He says it is cheaper 
to buy him and wear him out than it is to feed him de 
cently. You have known men who were perfectly willing 
to make fortunes out of a horse's agony, and out of animal 
pain. There are hundreds of them in the world. Now, 



1 66 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

take it on horse railroads, and with freighters, and team 
sters. Whenever you find a mean, infamous man, if he 
cannot whip his wife, he will take his spite out on his 
horse. If a man is a good, broad, generous, free fellow he 
will say, " I don't want to work that horse to death ; I 
think it will take four horses. I am going to keep my 
horses fat, and I am going to treat them as a gentleman 
should." Another man, a wretch, will come up and swear 
it would not take more than fifteen horses. When his 
horses are through the service you will simply see a pile 
of bones wrapped in a lamentable hide. You understand 
that. 

Well, these men made twelve hundred bids and got one 
hundred and thirty-four contracts. Ah, but they say, here 
is another badge of fraud, another badge. Ah, they bid on 
small routes, on cheap routes, on routes where the mail 
was carried infrequently and on slow time. If it is a badge 
of fraud to bid on such routes the Government can never 
let out any more. Most of these routes were cheap routes. 
Now, I owe it to you to give you the reason for this. We 
will prove in the first place that these men were not rich 
men. If they had been very rich they probably would not 
have gone into the business at all. They would have gone 
into that perfectly respectable business of buying Govern 
ment bonds. They would have bought Government bonds 
and made other fellows pay the interest, and twice a year they 
would have formed a partnership with a pair of shears, and 
thus in the sweat of their faces they would clip their coupons. 
They bid on poor routes. Why ? They were poor, compari- 
tively speaking. They had not the money to stock the ex 
pensive routes where four horse coaches were run. They pre 
ferred to take the cheaper lines. Why ? Because they could 
stock them. They would have been able to have stocked the 
routes if they had only obtained the number they expected. 
But as I told you, they got many more routes than they ex- 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. l6j 

pected. Was that for the benefit of the Government ? How 
did these men come to bid so cheaply on some of these routes ? 
I will tell you. Because they had the information, because 
they had received the facts from all the postmasters on the 
routes, and consequently they made a good close calculation, 
and the result was that their bids were below others, and the 
fact that their bids were accepted saved the Government 
hundreds of thousands of dollars. When they found them 
selves with all these contracts, the first hard work they did 
was to give away all they could. That was the first hard work. 
They had contracts, not for sale, but just to give, and they 
succeeded in giving away several of them. I believe they 
sold two of these children of conspiracy for the enormous sum 
of one hundred dollars each. That was the highest sale they 
made at that time. Afterwards another route was sold which 
I will explain when I come to it. Now there is no rascality 
yet. No fraud yet. No conspiracy yet. Well, they then went 
to work to get their bonds. But first let me say that there 
was another reason for bidding on cheap routes. Whenever 
the bid is above five thousand dollars, then the man who bids 
must, at the time he bids, put up a check for five per cent, of 
the amount. 

A check certified by a national bank. For instance, if it all 
comes to a hundred thousand dollars he has got to put in a 
certified check for five thousand dollars. Even in the little 
bids we made we had to deposit with the Government some 
twenty-six or twenty-eight thousand dollars, and I do not 
know but more, in cash, or what is the same as cash, for the 
bank certifies that the money is there. That is another reason 
they bid on smaller routes. What is the next ? The Govern 
ment asks such frightful bonds, such terrible amounts, that a 
man must be almost a millionaire, or else there must be a 
confidence in him that is universal, before he can give these 
bonds. 

There was one route at this very bidding where they had to 
give bonds for six hundred and forty thousand dollars, and 



168 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the sureties upon these bonds under oath had to testify that 
they had real estate to the value of six hundred and forty 
thousand dollars, exclusive of all debts, dues, and demands. 
So there was another reason for bidding upon small routes. 
Where the amount was under five thousand dollars no certified 
check had to be deposited, and the smaller the route of course 
the smaller the bond. 

Now, I have endeavored to show you the reasons that we 
bid upon these routes instead of upon the larger ones. The rea 
sons as stated by the Government are that we took these 
routes where the service was once a week, so that we could 
have the service increased ; that we took those routes where 
the time was long so that we could have it shortened, that is 
to say, expedited. But I tell you that when a perfectly good 
reason lies at the very threshold of the question you have no 
right to go further. The reasons I have given to you it seems 
tome are perfect and you need no more. 

Now, then, we got, I say, about one hundred and thirty-four 
routes. Of these, one hundred and fifteen are without com 
plaint. There is not a word about the other one hundred and 
fifteen. Recollect it. We got one hundred and thirty-four 
routes. In this indictment are nineteen ; one hundred and 
fifteen appear to be perfectly satisfactory to this great Govern 
ment. There is not a word as to those routes, not one word, 
I say, as to one hundred and fifteen routes, and they want you 
to believe that these defendants deliberately selected nineteen 
routes -out of one hundred and thirty-four about which to 
make a conspiracy, and that they left one hundred and fifteen 
to go honestly along, but picked out nineteen for the purpose 
of defrauding the Government. 

Now, then, when these gentlemen found themselves with 
these routes, the next thing was to put the stock and the car 
riers upon them. As I told you, a good many more had been 
awarded to them than they anticipated. They had not the 
money. So, in putting the stock upon several of the route?, 
they found it necessary to borrow some money, and here comes 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 169 

another suspicious circumstance. Mr. Miner borrowed some 
money of Stephen W. Dorsey, and everybody is astonished 
that any man would be mean enough to loan money to an 
other ; that any man could so far forget the dignity of the office 
that he held as to help a friend. Their idea of a Senator is of 
such a lofty and dignified character that he ceases to take in 
terest in anything except national affairs ; that after he has 
been sworn in he forgets all the relationships and friendships of 
the world, and the idea of asking him to loan money seems, to 
the prosecution, to be the height of unconstitutionality. But 
as a matter of fact he did loan some money, and we will show 
you how that loan was treated, showing you that at that time 
he had not the slightest interest in it. He loaned some money, 
and kept loaning money until, I believe, he had given them 
about sixteen thousand dollars to get these routes on. Then 
he, being on his way to New Mexico, met in the city of Saint 
Louis John R. Miner, who at that time was coming back, I 
think, from Montana or Dakota, where he had been putting 
stock on a route. Miner saw Dorsey in Saint Louis, and said 
to him, " We have got to have a little more money, and I 
want you to indorse my note or to loan me your note and I 
can get it discounted in the German-American Bank in Wash 
ington." Finally, Dorsey said to him, "You have already 
obtained from me about sixteen thousand dollars : I will give 
you the note you ask, or indorse your note upon one condi 
tion, and that is that you shall give me orders" what are called 
Post-Office drafts " not only for the amount of this note, but 
for the amount of the sixteen thousand dollars. ' ' We shall insist, 
gentlemen, that that evidence shows exactly our position, and 
that you are entitled not only to draw from it, but that you 
must draw from it the inference, the fact, that we had no inter 
est in those routes. Finally that was agreed to. 

Now, understand it, at that time a contractor with the Gov 
ernment who had agreed to carry the mail for a certain time 
could give what are called post-office drafts or orders you 
know, orders on his quarterly pay and they would be taken 



I7O OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

to the proper officer in the Post-Office Department and they 
would be accepted, not for the full amount, understand, but for 
any amount that might be due that contractor. For instance, 
he might fail to carry the mail, he might be fined, and conse 
quently the amount of that draft might not be there, so that 
the only thing the Post- Office Department agreed to do was 
to pay upon that order or draft anything that was due to the 
contractor. That was done at that time, and why ? Because 
there was no way other than that to secure these advances. So 
he gave these drafts. He came on to Washington. The note 
was put into the German- American Bank. The orders on the 
Post-Office Department were filed with it, and the money ad 
vanced by the bank and charged to Stephen W. Dorsey. 
That made, then, at that time about twenty-five thousand dol 
lars that Dorsey had advanced. That being done he went on 
about his business. 

Now, I will show you what happened after that. I think the 
note in the German-American Bank was nine thousand dollars 
or ten thousand dollars, I have forgotten which. Dorsey then 
went on to New Mexico from Saint Louis, and remained 
there, I believe, until December, 1878. Now, I want you to 
understand this, because here turns a very important ques 
tion, and a very important point. Now, you recollect the in 
formation about these bids was collected in the autumn and 
winter of 1877. The last bid was to be put in, I think, Feb 
ruary 28, 1878. Now, this was in the August of that year, 
1878. Still being pressed for money, Miner, Peck, and J. W. 
Dorsey were in danger of being declared failing contractors. 
Now, recollect it. We will show that at that time Brady, who, 
according to the Government, was a co-conspirator, threatened 
to declare Dorsey, Peck, and Miner failing contractors, and 
if he had declared them failing contractors even on one route 
that was the end of all. At that time Miner and John W. Dor 
sey sought out Mr. Harvey M. Vaile, and let me say that is 
the first appearance of Mr. Vaile in these contracts. He knew 
nothing about the bidding, was not in Dorsey's houre, knew 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 171 

nothing about the letting. That is his first appearance in these 
contracts, August, 1878. Now let us see what he did. He 
was a man of means. He had some money ; had been, I be 
lieve, for a long time engaged in carrying the mails ; under 
stood the business. They will tell you that is a suspicious 
circumstance as to him, and that the fact that that was John 
Dorsey's first experience is a suspicious circumstance as to 
him. Really to avoid suspicion you would have to have a man 
that had been in it a long time but never had anything to do 
with it. They got him, and offered what? To give him a 
third interest in this entire business. I think that was it. They 
were to give him a third interest in this entire business, a 
business that had been born of conspiracy, a business that had 
as a silent partner the man who fixed the amount of money to 
be paid. Think of that. According to the statement of the 
Government, here was a conspiracy full-fledged, perfect in its 
every part, flanked by the Second Assistant Postmaster-Gen 
eral, buttressed by all the clerks they desired, and yet that 
conspiracy got so hard up that in August, 1878, nine or ten 
months after its creation, it was willing to give a third to any 
body who would advance a little money to carry the thing 
on. 

So Mr. Vaile came in. Now, then, they had to secure 
Vaile against any loss, and it seems that on July i, I believe, 
of that year, the law allowed the subcontract to be filed. It 
was a little while before that that a law had been passed for the 
protection of subcontractors. That was all explained to you 
yesterday. You know it is something like a mechanic's lien ; 
that if the subcontractor would only file his subcontract in the 
Post-Office Department and let that department know the 
terms of it they would not pay the original contractor until 
this subcontractor was paid. Now, that law had gone into effect 
a little while before August, 1878, and the effect of that law, 
if anybody filed a subcontract on these routes, was to cut out 
all those post-office orders that Miner had given to secure 
Dorsey. You understand me now, do you not? It was 



172 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

when he met him in Saint Louis that it was agreed that theso 
post-office orders were to be given and filed with the Ger 
man-American Bank in this city. Now, then, the law passed 
for the protection of subcontractors, and subsequently the 
filing of subcontracts on those very routes, would render 
those post-office orders absolutely worthless. Very well. 
When they made the contract with Mr. Vaile they agreed to 
file the subcontracts with the department to protect Vaile and 
that rendered S. W. Dorsey's security absolutely nothing. 
That cut out all other claims, drafts, and everything else, and 
at that time Mr. Miner was fully authorized by power of 
attorney from J. W. Dorsey and from John M. Peck, who was 
at that time in New Mexico, to make this transfer to Vaile. 

Now, see where we are on August 16, 1878. On Dorsey's 
return in December, 1878 he had not been here from that 
time, and do you not see he had nothing to do with it he 
found that these subcontracts had been filed. He found that 
the note in the German-American Bank had been protested, 
and he found that his collateral security was not worth a dol 
lar, that it was all gone. Thereupon he demanded a settle 
ment. The matter drifted along for a little while, and a 
settlement was made with the bank ; and Mr. Vaile, holding 
the subcontract, undertook to pay that Dorsey note, and he 
did pay it. He took it up, and gave, I believe, his own in 
stead, and that was finally paid. But the money due Dorsey, 
the sixteen thousand dollars that at that time amounted to 
something more by virtue of interest, was not provided for. 
The money that had been expended by John W. Dorsey was 
not provided for. The money expended by Peck was not 
provided for. Now, I want you to see exactly how that mat 
ter stood at that time. We have got it up to that time and 
here it stands, and the chief conspirator out sixteen thousand 
dollars and without any interest in one of the routes. There 
is where he was at that time, and that is what we will show. 
The brother of the chief conspirator ten thousand dollars out, 
and not the interest of one cent in any route. The brother 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 173 

in law of the conspirator about ten thousand dollars out, and 
not a cent in. That was the condition of this conspiracy at 
this time, and when Vaile took these routes Brady telegraphed 
him and asked him, " What routes of Miner, Dorsey, and 
Peck, are you going to put the stock on ? This thing can be 
continued no longer. The stock must go on." We will 
show it. Now, having got to that point, we will take another 
step. There is nothing like understanding things as we go 
along. 

Now, from the time Mr. Vaile took the route, to the settle 
ment in 1879, to which I will call your attention in a little 
while, Mr. Vaile had the absolute control. Neither Peck nor 
S. W. Dorsey had the slightest thing to do with one of those 
routes until the final settlement, and I say to these gentlemen 
of the prosecution now, that in that time they can find no line, 
no word from Stephen W. Dorsey upon the subject. They 
cannot find that he wrote a word to any official, that he sent a 
petition to anybody, that he wrote a letter to any human 
being upon the subject, or that he took any more interest in it 
than in the ashes of Sodom and Gomorrah. It went right 
along. 

Now, then, up to this time, Stephen W. Dorsey had made 
nothing. He was only out about sixteen thousand dollars or 
eighteen thousand dollars. John W. Dorsey was in the same 
healthy financial condition. John M. Peck had reaped the 
same rich harvest of ten thousand dollars lost, and all the 
things had been turned over to Mr. Vaile ; John W. Dorsey 
put out left out with nothing to show. That is the first 
chapter in this conspiracy. [Resuming.] 

I believe when I stopped, the principal conspirators were 
substantially "broke." The head and front was out sixteen 
or eighteen thousand dollars, and the other two ten thousand 
dollars each. Now, a contract was made, and I propose to 
prove that contract in the course of this trial. When that 
contract comes to be shown, it will be about this : That, on 
the i6th day of August, 1878, H. M. Vaile, John R. Miner, 



174 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

John M. Peck, and John W. Dorsey made an agreement 
That agreement made a partnership, and we will show that a 
partnership was formed by and between Miner, Vaile, Peck, 
and Dorsey on the i6th day of August, 1878. We will show 
by the articles of that partnership that H. M. Vaile was made 
treasurer, and that all the other partners agreed, by suitable 
powers of attorney, to put the collection of all the money 
from the Government absolutely in his hands. When he got 
the money he agreed, first, to pay all the subcontractors ; 
second, the expenses necessary and incident to the proper 
conduct of the business ; third, to divide the profits remain-, 
ing among the parties as provided in that contract. The 
profits were to be divided as follows : From routes in Indian 
Territory, Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakato, to H. M. Vaile, 
one-third ; to John R. Miner, one-sixth ; to John M. Peck, 
one-sixth ; and to John W. Dorsey, one-third. From routes 
in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, 
Utah, Idaho, Washington Territory, Oregon, Nevada, and 
California, to H. M. Vaile, one-third ; to John R. Miner, 
one-third, and to John M. Peck, one-third. Before any 
division of profits was to be made, the sums which before 
that time had been advanced were to be paid to the parties so 
advancing such sums ; and if the profits were not sufficient to 
repay the entire sums so advanced, they were to be paid from 
time to time during the existence of the life of these contracts. 
Now, you will find that such contract was made on the i6th 
day of August, 1878, and that Mr. H. M. Vaile then took 
absolute and complete control of every one of these routes, 
and the only thing they asked of him was to repay the money 
that had been advanced, which, as you know, and as I have 
told you, was the sixteen or eighteen thousand dollars 
by S. W. Dorsey, the ten thousand dollars by Peck, and 
about the same amount by John W. Dorsey. Now that is 
understood. At that time certain papers were executed by 
all the parties. I told you that a law had been passed by 
virtue of which a man could make a subcontract and have 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 175 

that subcontract put on file, and thereupon he could be pro 
tected by the Government. Now, when H. M. Vaile took 
these routes, and they were to be managed by him, subcon 
tracts were made by the other parties to Mr. Vaile, and Mr. 
Vaile put those subcontracts on record. Now you can see 
that they gave him the absolute and entire control of every 
route. That was the condition. I have explained to you the 
the liability of a contractor. He cannot put it off on a sub 
contractor. He is the man primarily responsible to the 
Government during the life of that contract, and for six 
months thereafter. Whenever a contract is awarded to any 
person, he is regarded as the original contractor, and his 
name is kept upon the books of the department during the 
life of that contract. No matter how many subcontracts may 
be made, he is looked to primarily if there is a failure of a 
a trip, or if there is a failure of the service, and he is respon 
sible for its complete performance. If there comes some 
great storm and the road is obstructed by snow, or if the 
bridges are all carried away by flood, and the subcontractor 
throws down the contract, the original contractor must be 
ready to take it up ; and if he fail to do so, he can be fined 
three times what he has received for each trip. There is one 
case in one of these nineteen routes, gentlemen, where the 
fines exceeded the entire pay simply because they did not 
carry the mail according to the contract. Now, then, these 
parties finally made a settlement and they divided these routes. 
They divided them. They ceased to have any interest in 
common. Recollect, that was in April, 1879. I want you to 
know it because this entire case depends on your knowing it. 
This entire case, gentlemen of the jury, depends on your 
understanding it. In April, 1879, Mr. Vaile having had pos 
session of these routes for several months, a division was 
made of them, and all interest in common was at that moment 
severed. At this time, I say, these routes were divided, and 
all partnership and all partnership interest was absolutely 
destroyed. I want to tell you why, When Dorsey returned 



176 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

from New Mexico and found that his orders on the Post- 
Office Department had been superseded by subcontracts and 
that his collateral security was worthless he was indignant, 
and at that time he and Mr. Vaile had a quarrel. He did not 
think he had been properly treated, and for that reason the 
moment he got the note at the German-American Bank pro 
vided for, the moment he induced Mr. Vaile to assume the 
payment of that note, he gave evidence that he wanted a 
settlement. Not that he wanted the routes divided at that 
time, because he did not dream of such a thing. He wanted 
the settlement. He wanted his money. The arrangement 
that had been made with Mr. Vaile was unknown to Mr. 
Dorsey, who at that time was in New Mexico ; and, as I told 
you before, when he returned and found that the note that 
had been given to the German-American National Bank was 
protested, and found, as I told you twice, his collateral 
security was worthless, he wanted a settlement. He wanted 
his money refunded to him. They said to him, " We haven't 
the money. We have just got the stock really upon these 
routes. We have just got under way, and we cannot pay out 
the money." "Very well," said he, "what will you give 
me ? " I want you all to see that this was a simple, natural, 
ordinary proceeding. Said he, "I want my money." Said 
Vaile to him, "We haven't the money, but I will tell you 
what we will do. We will divide the routes with you." 
Now, recollect at that time that they had a hundred and 
thirty-four routes, and had given some of them away. At 
that time they agreed upon a division, and they agreed how 
that division should be made. We will prove the agreement 
to you. The agreement was that Mr. Vaile should choose 
first, taking the route he wanted he and Miner being to 
gether at that time that Mr. Dorsey should choose the next, 
and Mr. Miner should choose the third route ; and then 
that Mr. Vaile should choose the fourth, Stephen W. Dorsey 
the fifth route, Mr. Miner the sixth route, Mr. Vaile the 
seventh route, and so on. They finally concluded it 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 177 

would be fair for Mr. Vaile to take the best route, Dor- 
sey the next best, and Miner the next best, and then 
again Vaile the best, Dorsey the next best, and Miner 
the next best, and that that would be an average that 
would do justice to each. In that way, gentlemen, they 
divided these routes. There was no conspiracy ; nothing 
secret. This division was made on the 6th day of April, 
1879, not only after Dorsey had gone out of the Senate, 
but after he had advanced this money, after they had failed to 
repay him, after he had failed to collect it, and when he finally 
had said, " I must have some settlement that recognizes my 
claim." Gentlemen, I want you to know that. In this case 
that fact will be one of the great central facts. On the 6th 
day of April, 1879, these routes were absolutely divided, and 
after that they had nothing in common. But you recollect 
that these routes were divided by chance. Mr. Vaile chose 
the first route. He might choose a route that had been bid 
off by Peck, or he might choose a route that had been bid off 
by John W. Dorsey. Stephen W. Dorsey took the next 
route, and that might have been a route that had originally 
been awarded to his brother, or to Peck, or to Miner. You 
can see how that is. The division was here complete. Mr. 
Miner did not have the routes he had bid off and that had been 
given to him by the Government. Mr. Vaile came in, and as 
Mr. Vaile was not an original bidder he took routes that had 
been awarded to Miner and to Peck and to John W. Dorsey. 
By the division Stephen W. Dorsey came into possession of 
routes that he never had bid off, because he never bid for 
one. Consequently as he went along with those routes, he 
needed and he had oftentimes the affidavit or the certificate of 
the original contractor. That was a necessity. Otherwise 
the division could not have been carried out. Anything that 
arises from the necessity of the case does not tend to show 
any conspiracy or any illegal partnership. I hope you under 
stand perfectly that on the 6th day of April, 1879, these 
routes were divided and Stephen W. Dorsey took his share 



178 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

because they at that time owed him between sixteen and 
eighteen thousand dollars. 

What more did he do, gentlemen ? He agreed at that 
time that he would refund to John W. Dorsey all the money 
he had expended. That amount was about ten thousand 
dollars. It was nine thousand and something. He also 
agreed that he would refund to John M. Peck, who is now 
dead, the money he had expended, which was between nine 
and ten thousand dollars. He also agreed that he would take 
the routes for the money he had expended, and that was 
between sixteen and eighteen thousand dollars. So, when 
those routes were turned over to him they were taken in full 
of over sixteen thousand dollars advanced by him, ten thou 
sand dollars that he was to give to his brother, and ten 
thousand dollars that he was to give to John M. Peck in the 
neighborhood of thirty-eight thousand dollars in all. Speak 
ing of the sum without interest it amounted to thirty-six 
thousand dollars. Those routes were turned over to him. 
Gentlemen, it was not done in secret. When that division 
was made, the law having provided no way for A to assign a 
contract to B, that assignment had to be accomplished by a 
subcontract, and consequently subcontracts had to be given to 
Vaile, subcontracts to John R. Miner, and subcontracts to S. 
W. Dorsey, and yet the original contractor was still held by 
the Government. When the subcontract was made, it was for 
the entire amount of the pay ; not one dollar remained for the 
original contractor. Now, I want to state to you what we 
are going to prove about that. After the division was made, 
to show you the interest taken by the arch- conspirator, we 
will prove these facts : That when the routes awarded to him 
by chance, on the 6th day of April, 1879, had been awarded, 
he left the city of Washington in a few days, and went to New 
Mexico ; that he returned here on the I5th or i6th of May ; 
that he left again on the iQth of May, and went to Arkansas ; 
that from Arkansas he went to New Mexico, and returned to 
Washington on the 2ist day of June, and that on the 2jth oi 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. IJQ 

June he left for New Mexico. The next time he visited 
Washington was in July of the following year, 1880. He 
remained here one day, left and returned again to witness the 
inauguration of General Garfield. From June 27, 1879, up to 
the present hour I challenge these gentlemen to show that 
Stephen W. Dorsey ever wrote one line, one word, one letter, 
to any officer of the Post-Office Department. I challenge 
them to show that he ever took the slightest interest in any 
star route, or said one word to any human being about that 
business, except in explanation when attacked by the Gov 
ernment or in the newspapers. Now, gentlemen, after the 
division of these routes what did Stephen W. Dorsey do ? 
This is a story, complicated, it may seem, perfectly plain 
when you understand the surroundings. It is a story necessary 
for you to know. After he got these routes what did he do ? 
Did he want them? Did he want to engage in carrying Jthe 
mail of the United States ? Was that his business ? At that 
time he had a ranch in New Mexico where he was raising 
cattle. That was his business, and is up to to-day. Did he 
want to stay here ? Did he want to attend to these contracts ? 
That is for you to determine. Did he want to enter into 
some partnership by which the Government was to be fleeced? 
That is for you to say. I tell you he had another business. I 
tell you he had a ranch in New Mexico, and we will prove it 
to you, and that ranch was of more importance to him than 
all the star routes in the United States. We will show you 
that at that time he could not have afforded to waste his time 
on these routes ; that the business he was then engaged in 
was too profitable to waste any time in the mail business. 
Profitable as these gentlemen appear to think it was, what did 
he do ? Just as soon as he could make the arrangement he 
went to a gentleman living in Pennsylvania by the name of 
James W. Bosler. Who is Bosler? He is a man well ac 
quainted with the business of contracting with the Govern 
ment. He has been in that business for years and years. He 
is a man of ample fortune, excellent reputation, considered by 



180 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

his friends and neighbors to be a gentleman and an honest 
man. He went to him. That we will show you. He said to 
Mr. Bosler, " I have advanced money by the indorsement of 
a note. I am in a business that I do not understand. We 
have had to divide the routes in order for me to have security 
for my debt. I want to turn these routes over to you. I am 
not acquainted with the business of carrying the mail. I 
know absolutely nothing about it. I want you to take it." 
How did he turn it over? We will show. He said to Mr. 
Bosler, " You take all the routes that have been given to me ; 
every one. You run them and you pay me back my money, 
and then we will divide the profit." Mr. Bosler said he was 
not very well acquainted with post-office business, but he 
understood how to transact any ordinary business, and he 
would take them. That is all there is to it. He took the 
routes ; every one. I believe that he took absolute control 
within a few months of the 6th day of April. I do not know 
but the warrants for the first quarter were paid or came in 
some way to S. W. Dorsey. But for the second quarter Mr. 
Bosler took them, and from that day to this Mr. Bosler has 
controlled those routes. He has carried every mail or has 
contracted with the man who did carry it. Every solitary 
thing that has been done from that day to this has been done 
by him. Every dollar has been collected by Mr. Bosler, and 
every dollar has been disbursed by Mr. Bosler. And before 
we get through I am going to tell you how all the routes that 
were given to Mr. S. W. Dorsey came out. Let me tell you 
how they came out. Mr. Bosler has carried the mail, paid 
the expenses, kept the accounts, and, gentlemen, I am going 
to tell you how much he made out of this vast conspiracy that 
has convulsed that part of the moral world that has been hired 
and paid to be convulsed. I am going to tell you exactly how 
we came out on all this business. I will give you the product 
of all this rascality, of all this conspiracy, of all the written 
and spoken lies ; I will tell you our joint profit on this entire 
business ; a business that promised to change the adminis- 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. l8l 

tration of this Government ; a business about which reputa 
tions have been lost, and no reputations will be won ; count 
ing it all, every dollar, and taking into consideration the 
midnight meetings, the whisperings in alleys, the strange 
grips and signs that we have had to invent and practice, you 
will wonder at the amount. I will give it to you all. Mr. 
Hosier has kept the books, has expended every dollar, col 
lected every warrant, and I say to you to-day that the entire 
profit has been less than ten thousand dollars, not enough to 
pay ten witnesses of the Government. Our profits have not 
been one-fiftieth of the expense of the Government in this 
prosecution not one-fiftieth, and I say this, gentlemen, 
knowing what I am saying. It is charged by the Govern 
ment that these gentlemen were conspirators ; that they 
dragged the robes of office in the mire of rascality ; that they 
swore lies ; that they made false petitions ; that they forged 
the names of citizens ; that they did all this for the paltry 
profit of ten thousand dollars. That is what we will show 
you. And the moment this reform administration swept 
into power they cut down the service on these routes. They 
not only did that, but they refused to pay the month's extra 
pay, and they committed all this villainy in the name of 
reform. And do you know some of the meanest things in 
this world have been done in the name of reform ? They used 
to say that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. I 
think reform is. And whenever I hear a small politician talk 
ing about reform, borrowing soap to wash his official hands, 
with his mouth full and his memory glutted with the rascal 
ity of somebody else I begin to suspect him ; I begin to think 
that that gentleman is preparing to steal something. So 
much, then, for the conspiracy up to this point, up to the 
division of these routes in 1879. Now recollect it. 

Now, the next charge that is made against us, and it is a 
terrific one, is that these defendants, my clients, have filled the 
Post-Office Department with petitions false petitions ; forged 
petitions. I want to tell you hereto-day that these gentlemen 



182 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

will never present any petitions upon any route upon which 
my clients are interested that they will claim was forged not 
one. Have we not the right, gentlemen, to petition ? Has not 
the humblest man in the United States a right to send a peti 
tion to Congress ? Has not the smallest man I will go further 
has not the meanest man the right to petition Congress ? 
Why, it is considered one of our Constitutional rights not 
only, but a right back of the Constitution, to make known 
your grievances to the governing power. Every man always 
had a right to petition the king. There is no government so 
absolutely devoid of the spirit of liberty that the meanest sub 
ject in it has not the right to express his opinion to the king 
to the czar. Upon what meat do these officers feed that they 
are grown so great that an ordinary citizen may not address a 
petition to one of them ? Now, I ask you, if you were living 
in Colorado and could get a mail once a week, have you not 
the right to petition your member of Congress to have it three 
times a week ? Do you not know that every member of Con 
gress from every State, every delegate from every Territory, 
is judged by his constitutents by the standard of what he does. 
By what he does for whom ? By what he does for them. They 
send a man to Congress to help them, and they expect that 
man to get them a mail just as often as any other member of 
Congress gets his people a mail, do they not ? And if he can 
not do that they will leave that young gentleman at home. 
They will find another man. It is the boast of a member of 
Congress when he returns to his constitutents, "I have done 
something for you. You only had a mail here once a week. I 
have got it four times a week, gentlemen." " Here is a river 
that was navigable. I have got a custom house." " Here is 
a great district in which the United States holds a court and I 
have an appropriation for a court-house." Up will go the caps ; 
they will say, ' ' He is the man we want to represent us next 
session." But if he sneaks back and says, " Gentlemen, you 
do not need a court-house, you have mails often enough," the 
reply of the people is, " And you have been to Congress often 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 183 

enough." That is nature, and no matter how highly we are 
civilized when you scratch through the varnish you find a 
natural man. 

Now, then, every member of Congress felt it was his duty, his 
privilege, and his leverage, to have the mails established, and 
when the people got up petitions he would indorse them. He 
would look at the petitions. There was the principal man, you 
know, in his town. He would look down a little farther. There 
was a fellow that had an idea of running against him. He would 
look down a little farther, and there was the man who pre 
sented his name at the last convention ; there is the fellow who 
subscribed three hundred dollars towards the expenses of the 
campaign. That is enough. He turns it right over " I most 
earnestly recommend that this petition be granted. So and 
so, M. C." Then he would put it in his coat-pocket, and he 
would march down to General Brady with a smile on his face 
as broad as the horizon of his countenance. He would just 
explain to the gentleman that there are miner's camps spring 
ing up all over that country, towns growing in a night like 
mushrooms, Providence just throwing prosperity away in that 
valley ; that they have to have a daily mail then and there, and 
he would show this petition. In three weeks more there would 
come fifty others, and it would be granted. Why, even the 
counsel for the prosecution would have done the same, strange 
as it may appear. They would have done just the same 
maybe worse, maybe better. The Post-Office officials might 
have granted more to them. 

Now, I have always had the idea that it was one of my rights 
to sign a petition ; that no man in this country could grow so 
great that I had not the right just to hand the gentleman a 
paper with my opinion on it. Do you know I do not think any 
body can get so big that an American citizen cannot send a 
letter to him if he pays the postage, and in that letter he can 
give him his opinion. There is no fraud about that ; not the 
slightest. These men all out through the mountains, men that 
went out there, you know, to hunt for silver and for gold, live 



184 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

in little camps of not more than twenty or thirty, maybe, but 
they wanted to hear from home just as bad as though there had 
been five hundred in that very place. And a fellow that had 
dug in the ground about eleven feet and had found some rock 
with a little stain on it and had had the stain assayed, wanted 
to hear from home right off. He stayed there and dreamed 
about fortune, palaces, pictures, carriages, statues, and the 
whole future was simply an avenue of joy upon which he and 
his wife and the children would ride up and down. He wanted 
to write a letter right off. He wanted to tell the folks how he 
felt. Do you think that man would not sign a petition for an 
other mail? Do you think that fellow would vote to send a 
stupid man to Congress who could not get another mail ? He 
felt rich ; he was sleeping right over a hole that had millions in 
it, and he had not much respect for a Government that could 
not afford to send a millionaire a letter. 

Now, Mr. Bliss tells you that we forged petitions, and in 
only a few moments, as the Court will remember, he had the 
kindness to say that anybody in the world would sign a peti 
tion for anything, and the question arises if people are so glad 
to sign petitions why should we forge their names. Do you 
not see that doctrine kind of swallows itself. You certainly 
would not forge the name of a man to a note who was hunting 
you up to sign it. And yet the doctrine of the Government is 
that while the whole West rose en masse, each man with a pen 
in his hand and inquiring for a petition, these defendants de 
liberately went to work and forged it. It won't do, gentle 
men. Oh, my Lord, what a thing a little common sense is 
when you come to think about it, when you come to place it 
before your mind. 

Now, the next great trouble in this case, gentlemen, is that 
we bid on routes that were not productive. When you re 
member that Congress made all these routes now Congress 
did it ; we did not do it you will protect us. We did not 
make a solitary route upon which we bid, strange as it may 
appear. Congress, with the map of the Territories and 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 185 

the States of the Union before it, marked out all the routes. 
Congress determined where these routes should run. And 
yet this case has been tried as though in reality we were 
the parties who determined it. 

Now, let me say something right here. It is for Congress 
to determine first of all on what routes the mail shall be 
carried. I want you to understand that, to get it into your 
heads, way in, that Congress determined that question, and 
that there has to be a law passed that the mail shall be carried 
from Toquerville to Adairville, from Rawlins to White River. 
That law has to be passed first, and Congress has to say that 
that route shall be established. Now, get that in your minds. 
I give you my word we never established a mail on the earth. 
That was done by Congress, and the moment Congress estab 
lishes a route it becomes the duty of the Second Assistant 
Postmaster-General to put the service upon that route, and 
the duty of the First Assistant Postmaster-General to name 
the offices on that route. Is not that true? That is the 
doctrine. Now, that had all been done before we entered into 
a conspiracy. These routes had not only been established, 
but the Government had advertised for service on these 
routes, and we bid. That was our crime. 

These gentlemen said, I believe, at one time, that they 
were about to lift a little of the curtain, to expose the action of 
Congress. You see this suit has threatened the whole Gov 
ernment. If the Constitution weathers this storm it will be in 
luck. They were going to raise the curtain. They were 
going to be like children hanging around a circus tent. One 
lifts it up and hallooes to another, "Come quick, I see a 
horse's foot." They said that they were going to show the 
rascality of Congress. They have never done it. I suppose 
the reason may be that their pay depends upon an act of Con 
gress, but they let that alone. Now, they say that Congress 
committed a great mistake. Why, they say they were routes 
that were not productive, and we knew it, and that 
when the people asked for expedition and increase 



186 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

on a route that was not productive we were guilty of 
fraud. 

Now, gentlemen, let us see : There are not a great many 
productive post-offices in the United States. They say 
that a post-office that is not productive should be wiped 
out. Let me say to you, you cut off the post-offices that 
are not productive and you will have thousands the next 
day that are not productive. It is the unproductive offices 
that make others productive. You cut off those that are 
not productive and you will have double the number that 
are not productive. You cut off all those that are unpro 
ductive and you will have nothing left but the mail line. 
You might say that there is not a spring that flows into 
the Mississippi that is navigable. Let us cut off the 
springs. Then what becomes of the Mississippi ? That is 
not navigable either. It is on account of the streams not 
navigable, emptying into one, that the one into which they 
empty, becomes navigable. And yet, these gentlemen say 
in the interest of navigation, " Let us stop the springs 
because you cannot run a boat up them." That is their 
doctrine. There is no sense in that. You have got to 
treat this country as one country. You have got to treat 
*vhe post-offices business as a unit for an entire country. 
You have got to say that wherever the flag floats the mail 
shall be carried, wherever American citizens live they shall 
be visited with the intelligence of the nineteenth century. 
That is what you have got to say. You have got to get 
up on a good high plane, and you have got to run a great 
Government like this that dominates the fortune of a con 
tinent, and you have got to run it like great men. There 
has got to be some genius in this thing and not little bits 
of suspicion. 

Productiveness ! Let us see. We are informed by Mr. 
Bliss, who is paid for saying it, otherwise he would not, 
that the West is perfectly willing to have mail facilities at 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 187 

the expense of the East. I do not think the gentleman 
comprehends the West. There is nothing so laughable, 
and sometimes there is nothing so contemptible, as the 
egotism of a little fellow who lives in a big town. Some 
people really think that New York supports this country, 
and probably it never entered the mind of Mr. Bliss that 
this country supported New York. But it does. All the 
clerks in that city do not make anything, they do not 
manufacture anything, they do not add to the wealth of 
this world. I tell you, the men who add to the wealth of 
this world are the men who dig in the ground. The men 
who walk between the rows of corn, the men who delve in 
the mines, the men who wrestle with the winds and waves 
of the wide sea, the men on whose faces you find the glare 
of forges and furnaces, the men who get something out of 
the ground, and the men who take something rude and 
raw in nature and fashion it into form for the use and con 
venience of men, are the men who add to the wealth of this 
world. All the merchants in this world would not support 
this country. My Lord ! you could not get lawyers enough 
on a continent to run one town. And yet, Mr. Bliss talks 
as though he thought that all the mutton and beef of the 
United States were raised in Central Park, as though we 
got all our wool from shearing lambs in Wall Street. It 
won't do, gentlemen. There is a great deal produced in 
the Western country. I was out there a few years ago, 
and found a little town like Minneapolis with fifteen thou 
sand people, and everybody dead-broke. I went there the 
other day and found eighty thousand people, and visited 
one man who grinds five thousand bushels of flour each 
day. I found there the Falls of Saint Anthony doing 
work for a continent without having any back to ache, 
grinding thirty thousand bushels of flour daily. Just 
think of the immense power it is. Millions of feet of 
lumber in this very country, and Dakota, over which some 



188 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

of these routes run, yielding a hundred million bushels of 
wheat. Only a few years ago I was there and passed over 
an absolute desert, a wilderness, and on this second visit 
found towns of five and six and seven thousand inhabit 
ants. There is not a man on this jury, there is not a man 
in this house with imagination enough to prophesy the 
growth of the great West, and before I get through I will 
show you that we have helped to do something for that 
great country. 

Productiveness ! Let me tell you where that idea of 
productiveness was hatched, where it was born, the egg out 
of which it came. It was by the act of March 2, 1799, 
just after the Revolution, and just after our forefathers 
had refused to pay their debts, just after they had repudi 
ated the debt of the Confederation, just after they had 
allowed money to turn to ashes in the pockets of the hero 
of Yorktown, or had allowed it to become worthless in the 
hand of the widow and the orphan. In 1799, the time 
when economy trod upon the heels almost of larceny, our 
Congress provided that the Postmaster-General should 
report to Congress after the second year of its establish 
ment every post-road which should not have produced 
one-third the expense of carrying the mail. Recollect it, 
and I want you to recollect in this connection that we 
never established a post-route in the world. We will show 
that, anyway, if we show nothing else. By the act of 
1825 a route was discontinued within three years that did 
not produce a fourth of the expenses. Now, when those 
laws were in force the postage was collected at the place of 
delivery. 

But in old times, gentlemen, in Illinois, in 1843, it was con 
sidered a misfortune to receive a letter. The neighbors 
sympathized with a man who got a letter. He had to pay 
twenty-five cents for it. It took five bushels of corn at that 
time, five bushels of oats, four bushels of potatoes, ten dozen 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 189 

eggs to get one letter. I have myself seen a farmer in a per 
turbed state of mind, going from neighbor to neighbor telling 
of his distress because there was a letter in the post-office for 
him. In 1851 the postage was reduced to three cents when it 
was prepaid, and the law provided that the diminution of in 
come should not discontinue any route, neither should it affect 
the establishment of new routes, and for the first time in the 
history of our Government the idea of productiveness was 
abandoned. It was not a question of whether we would make 
money by it or not ; the question was, did the people deserve 
a mail and was it to the interest of the Government to carry that 
mail ? I am a believer in the diffusion of intelligence. I be 
lieve in frequent mails. I believe in keeping every part of this 
vast Republic together by a knowledge of the same ideas, by a 
knowledge of the same facts, by becoming acquainted with the 
same thoughts. If there is anything that is to perpetuate this 
Republic it is the distribution of intelligence from one end to the 
other. Just as soon as you stop that we grow provincial ; we 
get little, mean, narrow prejudices : we begin to hate people 
because we do not know them ; we begin to ascribe all our faults 
to other folks. I believe in the diffusion of intelligence every 
where. I want to give to every man and to every woman the 
opportunity to know what is happening in the world of thought. 
I want to carry the mail to the hut as well as to the palace. I 
want to carry the mail to the cabin of the white man or the 
colored man, no matter whether in Georgia, Alabama, or in 
the Territories. I want to carry him the mail and hand it to 
him as I hand it to a Vanderbilt or to a Jay Gould. That is 
my doctrine. The law of 1851 did away with your productive 
ness nonsense, and when the mails were first put upon rail 
ways in the year 1838, the law made a limit, not on account 
of productiveness, but a limit of cost, and said the mail should 
not cost to exceed three hundred dollars a mile. Let me 
correct myself. In 1838 a law was passed that the mails might 
be carried by railroad provided they did not cost in excess of 
twenty -five per cent, over the cost of mail coaches. In 1839 



190 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that law was repealed, and the law then provided that the pay 
on railways should be limited to three hundred dollars a mile. 
So you see how much productiveness has to do with this busi 
ness. In 1861 Congress provided for an overland mail. Did 
they look out for productiveness ? The overland mail in 1861 
was a little golden thread by which the Pacific and the Atlantic 
could be united through the great war. Just a mail, carrying 
now and then a letter in 1861, and they were allowed, I think, 
twenty or thirty days to cross. Was productiveness thought 
of? Congress provided that they might pay for that service 
eight hundred thousand dollars a year. The mail did not ex 
ceed a thousand pounds. Including everything. Some letters 
that were carried from this side to the other cost the Govern 
ment three hundred dollars apiece. What was the object ? It 
was simply that the hearts of the Atlantic and the Pacific might 
feel each other's throb through the great war. That is all. 
Suppose some poor misguided attorney had stood up at that 
time and commenced talking about productiveness. In the 
presence of these great national objects the cost fades, sinks. 
It is absolutely lost. Wherever our flag flies I want to see the 
mail under it. After awhile we established what is known as 
the free-delivery system. That was first established on the 
idea of productiveness. Whenever you start a new idea, as a 
rule, you have to appeal to all the meanness that is in con 
servatism. Before you can induce conservatives to do a decent 
action you have to prove to them that it will pay at least 
ten per cent. So they started that way. They said, "We 
will only have this free delivery system where it pays." We 
went on and found the system desirable, and that many people 
wanted it, and that the revenues of the Post-Office Depart 
ment were so great that we could afford it, and we commenced 
having it where it did not pay. Right here in the city of 
Washington, right here in the capital of the great Republic, we 
have the free delivery system. Is it productive ? Last year 
we lost twenty-one thousand dollars distributing letters to the 
attorneys for the prosecution and others. And yet now this 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. igi 

District has the impudence to talk about productiveness. If 
anybody wants to find that fact it can be found on pages 42 
and 45 of the Postmaster- General's report. Productiveness ! 
We have now a railway service in the United States. I want 
to know if that is calculated upon the basis of productiveness. 
A car starts from the city of New York, and runs twelve hours 
ahead of the ordinary time to the city of Chicago for the simple 
purpose of carrying the mail, stopping only where the engine 
needs water, only when the monster whose bones are steel and 
whose breath is flame, is tired. Do you suppose that pays ? 
You could scarcely put letters enough into the cars at three 
cents apiece to pay for the trip. At last we regard this whole 
country as a unit for this business. We say the American peo 
ple are to be supplied. We do not care whether they live in 
New York or in Durango ; we do not care whether they are 
among the steeples of the East or the crags of the West ; we 
do not care whether they live in the villages of New England 
or whether they are staked out on the plains of New Mexico. 
For the purpose of the distribution of intelligence this great 
country is one. Do you see what a big idea that is ? When 
it gets into the heads of some people you have no idea how 
uncomfortable they feel. I have as much interest in this 
country as anybody, just exactly, and I am willing to subscribe 
my share to have this mail carried so that the man on the very 
western extreme, on the hem of the national garment, may 
have just as much as the man who lives here in the shadow of 
the Capitol. You see whenever a man gets to the height where 
he does not want anything that he is not willing to give some 
body else, then he first begins to appreciate what a gentleman 
is and what an American should be. Productiveness ! I say 
that all the State and Territorial lines have been brushed aside. 
We do not carry the mail in a State because it pays. We 
carry it because there are people there ; because there are 
American citizens there ; not because it pays. The post-office 
is not a miser ; it is a national benefactor. There are only 
seventeen States in this Union where the income of the Pose- 



IQ2 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Office Department is equal to the outlay ; only seventeen 
States in this Union. There are twenty-one States in which 
the mail is carried at a loss. There are ten Territories in 
which we receive substantially nothing in return for carrying 
the mail, and there is one District, the District of Columbia. I 
do not know how many miles square this magnificent territory 
is ; I guess about six. Thirty-six square miles. How much 
is the loss in this District per annum ? About one thousand 
five hundred dollars a square mile. The annual loss right here 
in this District is fifty-eight thousand dollars, and yet the citi- 
ens of this town are rascally enough to receive the mail, ac 
cording to the prosecution. Why is it not stopped ? Why 
is not the Postmaster-General indicted for a conspiracy with 
some one ? This little territory, six miles square has a loss 
of fifty-eight thousand dollars. 

If there was a corresponding loss in Kansas, Nebraska, 
California, Dakota, and Idaho, it would take more than the 
national debt to run the mail every year. And yet here in 
thirty-six square miles comes the wail of non-productiveness. 
It is almost a joke. We are carrying the mail in Kansas at a 
loss of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, and yet 
Kansas has a hundred million bushels of wheat for sale. Good ! 
I am willing to send letters to such people. It is a vast and 
thriving country. It contains men who have laid the founda 
tion of future empires. I want people big enough and broad 
enough and wide enough to understand that the valley of the 
Mississippi will support five hundred millions of people. Let 
us get some ideas, gentlemen. Let us get some sense. There 
is nothing like it. We pay five hundred thousand dollars a 
year for the privilege of carrying the mail in Nebraska. Do 
you know I am willing to pay my share. Any man who will 
go out to Nebraska and just let the wind blow on him deserves 
to have plenty of mail. You do not know here what wind is. 
You have never felt anything but a zephyr. You have never 
felt anything but an atmospheric caress. Go and try 
Nebraska. The wind there will blow a hole out of the 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 193 

ground. Go out there and try one blizzard, a fellow that robs 
the north pole and conies down on you, and you will be will 
ing to carry the mail to any man that will stay there and plow 
a hundred and sixty acres of land. When I see a post-office 
clerk sitting in a good warm room and making a fuss about a 
chap in Nebraska for not carrying the mail against a blizzard, 
I have my sentiments. I know what I think of the man. In 
the Territory of Utah we pay two hundred and thirty thou 
sand dollars a year for the privilege of carrying the mails, and 
the males in that country are mostly polygamists. I want you 
to get an idea of this country. In the State of California, that 
State of gold, that State of wheat, the State that has added 
more to the metallic wealth of this nation than all others com 
bined, an empire of magnificence, we pay five hundred thou 
sand dollars a year for the privilege of distributing the mail. I 
am glad of it. I want the pioneer fostered. I want the 
pioneer to feel the throb of national generosity. I want him 
to feel that this is his country. You see the post-office is 
about the only blessing he has. Every other visitor that 
comes from the General Government wants taxes. The Post- 
Office Department is the only evidence we possess of national 
beneficence. It is the only thing that comes from the General 
Government that has not a warrant, that does not intend to 
arrest us. In Texas, which is an empire of two hundred and 
seventy-three thousand square miles, a territory greater than 
the French empire, which at one time conquered Europe, 
we pay four hundred and fifty-nine thousand dollars for 
the privilege of distributing the mail. I am glad of it. It 
will not be long before that State will have millions of peo 
ple and give us back millions of dollars each year, and 
with that surplus we will carry the mail to otherTerritories. 
A man who has not pretty big ideas has no business in this 
country ; not a bit. We pay one hundred and eighty-nine 
thousand dollars for the sake of carrying letters and 
papers around Arkansas; one hundred and eighty -three 



194 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

thousand dollars for the privilege of wandering up and 
down Alabama ; one hundred and seven thousand dollars 
in Missouri ; two hundred and forty thousand dollars in 
Ohio ; two hundred and eight thousand dollars in Georgia ; 
three hundred and twelve thousand dollars in old Virginia. 
When I first went to Illinois the Government had to pay 
for the privilege of carrying the mail in that State. Now 
Illinois turns around and hands six hundred and sixty 
thousand dollars of profit to the United States each 
year. She says, " You carry the mail to the other fellows 
that cannot afford it just the same as you carried it for us. 
You rocked our cradle, and we will pay for rocking some 
body else's cradle." That is sense. In other words, in 
seventeen States we have a profit of seven million dollars. 
In twenty-one States, ten Territories, and the District of 
Columbia we have a loss of five million dollars. When we 
regard the country as a unit, then we make money out of 
the whole business. That is good. We have in the United 
States about a hundred and ten thousand miles of railroad 
now, and we pay about two hundred dollars a mile for 
carrying the mail on those railroads. We have two hun 
dred and twenty-seven thousand miles of star routes, and 
we pay on them between twenty and thirty dollars a mile. 
I want you to think about it. In looking over the Post 
master-General's report I accidentally came across this 
fact. You know, gentlemen, the present period is a 
paroxysmal period of reform. We are having what is 
known as a virtuous spasm. We have that every little 
while. It is a kind of fiscal mumps or whooping-cough. I 
find by this report that a mail averaging twenty pounds 
carried in a baggage-car from Connellsville to Uniontown, 
Pennsylvania, is paid for at the rate of forty-two dollars 
and seventy-two cents a mile. Under General Brady the 
star routes cost between twenty and thirty dollars a mile. 
Now, gentlemen, I have told you our connection u ith 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 195 

the star-route business. I have told it all to you freely, 
frankly, and fully. Some charges have been made against 
us, and I want to speak to you about them. You under 
stand that it often takes quite awhile to explain a charge 
that is made in only a few words. One man can say 
another did so and so. It is only a lie, and yet it may 
take pages for the accused man to make his explanation. 
The worst lie in the world is a lie which is partly true. 
You understand that. When you explain a lie that has a 
little circumstance going along with it, certifying to it, and 
attesting to its truth, it takes you a great deal longer to 
explain it than it did to tell it. The first great charge is 
that for us and I limit myself to my clients orders were 
antedated. That is one great charge. Let me tell you 
just how that was. Mr. Bliss calls attention to the fact 
that Mr. Brady made orders relating back, and in one case 
he alleged that the order was made, for the benefit of my 
clients, to take effect six weeks prior to its being issued. I 
want to explain that. A railroad was being constructed 
along the line of one of these routes. It may be well 
enough for ine to say that it was the Denver and Rio 
Grande Railroad. The points from which the mail was 
carried had to be changed as the road progressed. As it 
grew Mr. Brady increased the service on the route to seven 
times a week. He increased it from the end of the railroad, 
and he made it seven times a week because the mail on the 
railroad was seven times a week. We were to carry the 
mail from the end of the railroad, wherever that end might 
be. He increased the service on this route from the end 
of the railroad to the other terminal point; that is, he 
made it a daily mail so as to connect with the daily trains 
on the railroad. At the time the seven trips were to be 
put on, distance tables were sent out to postmasters at the 
terminal points to get the distances. Let me tell you what 
a distance table is. The names of the post-offices are on a 



1 96 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

circular, and the Post-Office Department sends that circular 
to the postmasters along the route and they are asked to 
return it with the distance from each station to every 
other marked upon it. Now, until that table is returned it 
is impossible for the Second Assistant Postmaster- General 
to tell how far they carry the mail. This railroad was 
progressing every month, and as the railroad advanced the 
distance from the end of the railroad to the other terminal 
point decreased. Now, the Postmaster-General or the 
Second Assistant cannot fix that pay until he has a return 
of the distance table. But before he has that return he 
can order the contractor to carry the mail, and after the 
distance table is returned then he can make up the formal 
order and have that order entered upon the records of the 
department. That is all he ever did. I want you to 
understand that perfectly. It might be four weeks after 
the contractor was ordered to carry the mail from the term 
ination of the railroad, or it might be five or six weeks 
before the distance tables were returned and the distance 
calculated. But do you not see it made no difference? 
There was first an order either by telegraph or a short 
order, and after the distance tables were returned then the 
distance was calculated, the amount of money calculated, 
and the regular order written up and made of record, and a 
warrant drawn for payment. That is all there is to it. 
And yet this is what Mr. Bliss calls defrauding the Gov 
ernment. We are charged on that kind of evidence with 
having defrauded the United States. We will show you 
that no order of that kind was made except when the 
distance was unknown ; and that when the distance was 
ascertained, the formal order was made, another order 
having been made before that time. Let me say right 
here that orders of a similar nature have been made in the 
Post-Office Department since its establishment. Since the 
construction of railways there has not a month passed in 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 197 

that department certainly not a year when such orders 
have not been made. And yet for the first time in the 
history of the Government it is brought forward against 
us as an evidence of fraud. We will show that the order 
was made exactly as I have stated. 

The next badge of fraud that is charged is that after a 
route had been awarded to us it was increased or expedited, 
or both, before the stock was put on. Well, I will tell you 
just how that is, because you want to know. This case, 
apparently complicated, is infinitely simple when it is 
understood. There are in the United States, I believe, 
some ten thousand of these star routes. They are all or 
nearly all in some way connected. One depends upon 
another. It is a web woven over the entire West, and how 
you run a mail here depends upon how one is run there, 
and the effort is to have all these mails connect in a certain 
harmony so that time will not be lost, and so that each 
letter will get to its destination in the shortest possible 
time, and it requires not only a great deal of experience, 
but it requires a great deal of ingenuity. It requires a 
great deal of study and strict attention for a man so to 
arrange the routes and the time in the United States that 
the letters can be gotten to their destination in the shortest 
possible time. And yet that is the object. You can see 
that. Now, you may be looking at the route from A to B, 
and say that there is no sense in having it in that time; but 
if you will look at the time of other routes, if you see with 
what routes that connects you will say that it is sensible. 
Now, you go on to another route, and, gentlemen, you see 
that every solitary route is touched, is compromised, is 
affected by every other route. That is what I want you to 
understand. 

Now, then, Mr. Bliss says that it was a badge of fraud 
to increase the time and the service on a route before the 
stock was put on. Now let me show you. Here you have 



igS OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

your scheme. Here is the route, we will say, from A to 
E. You let that for a weekly route, once a week. How 
fast ? A hundred hours. When you get the other routes 
on and look at this business you see that that crosses 
several places where the mail is lost. That is where a day 
is lost, and you see, if instead of that being a hundred 
hours it were seventy-five hours the mail at many stations 
would save one day or two days. Now, then, the law 
vests in you the power before a solitary horse or carriage 
goes upon that route to say to the man to whom the con 
tract was awarded, " You must carry that in seventy-five 
hours instead of one hundred hours, and you must carry 
it four times a week instead of once a week." If you take 
that power from the Postmaster-General and from the 
Second Assistant those offices become useless. It is im- 
possib.le for any human intellect to take into consideration 
all the facts growing out of this service. 

There is another thing, gentlemen, which you must re 
member, and that is that these advertisements for this 
service are not made the day the service is wanted. These 
advertisements are put out six months before there is to 
be any such service. 

It is sometimes a year before that service is wanted, and 
if you know anything about the West you know that in 
one year the whole thing may change. That where there 
was not a city there may be a city, and where there was a 
city nothing but desolation. Now, then, the law very 
wisely has vested the power in the Second Assistant and 
the Postmaster-General to rectify all the mistakes made 
either by themselves or by time, and to call for faster time 
or for slower, that is, for less frequent trips. Now, then, 
you see that that is no badge of fraud, do you not ? If, 
before you put a man or a horse on that route, the 
Government finds it wants twice as many trips there is no 
fraud in saying so, and if they find they want to go in fifty 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND Sf AR ROUTE TRIAL. 199 

hours instead of a hundred hours there would be fraud 
in not saying so. That has been the practice since this 
was a Government. 

Now, what is the next ? The next great charge against 
us, gentlemen, is that when they agreed to carry a greater 
number of trips, or any swifter time for money, Mr. Brady 
did not make us give an additional bond, and Mr. Bliss 
talked about that I should think about a day. Nearly all 
the time I heard him he was on that subject. " Why did 
they not when they were to carry additional trips give a 
new bond ? " Well, I will tell you why : Because there is 
no law for it. There never was a law for it never. And 
Mr. Brady had no right to demand a bond unless the 
statute provided for it. When I give a bond to carry the 
mail once a week, and the Government finds that it wants 
it carried three times a week, the Government cannot 
make me give an additional bond. Why? Because the 
statute does not provide for it, and Mr. Brady had not the 
power to enact new laws. That is all. Why, there never 
was such a bond given, and any bond that is given under 
duress, by compulsion, not having the foundation of a 
statute, is absolutely null and void. Everybody knows it 
that knows anything. And yet the gentleman comes 
before you and says it is a sign of fraud that we did not 
give an additional bond. There never was such a bond 
given in the history of this Government never; and in 
all probability never will be unless these gentlemen get 
into Congress. You know the law prescribes every bond 
that the contractor must give, and it is bad enough with 
out ever being increased during the contract term. 

So much now for that frightful badge of fraud. I want 
to make this statement so you will understand it. They 
have the unfairness, they have the lack of candor to tell 
you that it is one of the evidences that we are scoundrels, 
that we failed to give an additional bond, and when they 



20O OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

made that statement they knew that by law we could not 
give an additional bond, and they knew that if we had 
given an additional bond it would not have been worth the 
paper upon which it was written. And yet they lack 
candor to that degree that they come into this court and 
tell you that that is one of the evidences that we have con 
spired against the United States. It won't do. 

What is the next badge of fraud ? And I want to tell 
you this is a case of badges, and patches, and ravelings, 
and remnants, and rags. It is a kind of a mental garret, 
full of odd boots, and strange cats, thrown at us, and alto 
gether it is called a case of conspiracy. Another badge of 
fraud is that whenever we carried the mail one trip a 
week, and it was increased to two trips a week, Brady was 
such a villain that he gave us double pay ; and Mr. Bliss 
informed the jury that they knew just as well as he did 
that it did not cost twice as much to give two trips a week 
as it did to give one. Well, who said it did ? And yet 
they say that is an evidence of fraud. Well, let us see. 
There is nothing like finding the evidence. 

Now, when we come to this case we will introduce a 
bond that we gave at that time, and when the jury read 
that bond they will find this, or substantially this : 

It is hereby agreed by the said contractor and his sureties that the 
Postmaster-General may discontinue or extend this contract, change 
the schedule, alter, increase, or extend the service, he allowing not to 
exceed a pro rata increase of compensation for any additional service 
thereby required, or for increased speed if the employment of addi 
tional stock or carriers is rendered necessary, and incase of decrease, 
curtailment, or discontinuance, as a full indemnity to said contractor, 
one month's extra pay on the account of service dispensed with, and 
not to exceed a pro rata compensation for the service retained : Pro 
vided, however, That in case of increased expedition the contractor 
may, upon timely notice, relinquish his contract. 

Now, it is in that provided that if they call on him for 
double service he is entitled to double pay. That is the 
law, and it has been the practice, gentlemen, since we have 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 2OI 

had a Post-Office Department. And why ? Let me show 
you. Here is a man who carries a mail from A to Y. 
There are supposed to be some commercial transactions 
between those two places. It is supposed that now and 
then a human being goes from one of those places to the 
other, and the man who carries the mail, as a rule carries 
passengers and does the local business. Now, do you sup 
pose that he would agree with the Government that he 
would carry the mail once a week for a thousand dollars a 
year, and that they might hire another man to carry it 
once a week for a thousand dollars a year, and maybe that 
other man take all his passengers and all his business. 
The understanding is that when I bid a thousand dollars a 
year for once a week, if you put it to three times a week I 
am to have three thousand dollars ; four times a week, four 
thousand dollars; seven times a week, seven thousand dol 
lars, and that has been the unbroken practice of this Gov 
ernment from the establishment of the Post-Office Depart 
ment until to-day. You can see the absolute propriety of 
it, and you can see that any man would be almost crazy to 
take a contract on any other terms, and that contract is 
this : " I will carry for you so much a trip, and if you want 
more trips you can have them at the same price as that 
fixed." That is fair. That is what we did. 

So much for that badge of fraud. What is the next one ? 
It is that the pay was increased twice as much by the in 
crease, and, as I said, that is the law. 

Now let us see what is the next great badge of fraud. 
That we received the pay when the mail was not carried. 
I deny it, and we will show in this case, gentlemen, that 
we never received pay except when the mail was carried. 
And how do I know ? Because General Brady established a 
system of way-bills, so that a way-bill would accompany 
every pouch in which letters were, and they would put on 
that way-bill the time that it got to the post-office, and 



2O2 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

when that way-bill got to the terminal point it was sent 
here to Washington and filed away, and at the end of every 
quarter a report was made, and if a mail was behind at 
any post-office you would find it on that way-bill, and if 
they had not made the trip then they were fined. That 
way-bill system was inaugurated by General Brady, and 
under that way-bill system we carried the mail, and we 
could not get pay unless we had carried the mail. I call 
them way-bills. They are mail-bills that go with the pouch 
and give a history of each mail that is carried. That is all. 

Now another great badge of fraud. The first was that 
he was to impose no fines when the mail was not carried. 
The next was that he was to impose fines and then take 
the fines off for half fifty per cent. Now, would not that 
be an intelligent contract ? I carry the mails. You are the 
Second Assistant Postmaster-General. I agree with you 
that if you fine me and then will take the fine off I will 
give you half of it. About how long would it take you to 
break me up ? And yet that is honestly and solemnly put 
forward here as a fact in the case. They tell a story of a 
man who was bitten by a dog. Another man said to him, 
" I'll tell you what to do. You just sop some bread in that 
blood and give it to the dog ; it will cure you." " Oh, my 
God ! " says he, " if the other dogs hear of it they will eat 
me up." And here it is, without a smile, urged before this 
jury that we made a bargain that a fellow might fine us for 
the halves. Well, there may be twelve men in this world 
who believe that. They are unfortunate. 

The next charge is that a subcontract was made for less 
than the original contract. Well, that is where most of 
the money in this world is made. Thousands and millions 
of men have made fortunes by buying corn at sixty cents 
a bushel to be delivered next February, and selling the 
same corn for seventy cents. There is where fortunes live. 
The difference between a contract and a subcontract is the 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 203 

territory of profit in which every American loves to settle. 
You make a contract with the Government to furnish, say, a 
thousand horses of a certain kind for one hundred and fifty 
dollars apiece. You go and make a subcontract with some 
one to furnish you those same horses for one hundred 
and twenty-five dollars apiece. Is that a fraud? You 
have taken upon yourself the responsibility and if your 
subcontractor fails you must make it good. There is no 
harm in that. 

Suppose I agree with you to-morrow that if you will fur 
nish me one thousand bushels of wheat on the first day of 
January, I will give you one thousand five hundred dollars, 
and I find out that you made a bargain with another 
fellow to do it for a thousand dollars. If I am an honest 
man I suppose I will jump the contract, won't I ? Not 
much. If I am an honest man I will say, " Well, you 
made five hundred dollars ; I am glad of it ; good for you." 
But the idea of the prosecution is that the moment Brady 
saw a subcontract for less than the original contract he 
should have had a moral spasm, and said, " I won't carry 
out the contract ; I will swindle you, I will rob you, and I 
will do it in the name of virtue." And that is the meanest 
way a man ever did rob in the name of virtue, reform. So 
much for that. But if you ever make a contract with this 
Government and can make a subcontract at the same price 
you do it as quick as you can. 

The next is, that whenever he discontinued a route 
or any part of a route, rather, he gave us a month's 
extra pay ; you heard that, did you not ? He was on that 
subject about a half a day. How did he come to do that ? 
I will tell you. There is nothing like looking : 

And in case of decrease, curtailment, or discontinuance of service, 
as a full indemnity to said contractor one month's extra pay on the 
amount of service dispensed with. 

That is first the law, secondly the contract, and thirdly it 



404 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

was made in the interest of the United States. And why ? 
Suppose the United States made a contract with a man to 
carry a mail from New York to Liverpool, and in conse 
quence of that contract the man bought steamships to per 
form the service, and then the United States made up its 
mind not to carry the mail. That man might get damages 
to the amount of hundreds and thousands of dollars. 
Therefore the United States endeavored to protect itself 
and say the limit of damage shall be one month's pay, and 
that has been the law for years, and that law has been pass 
ed upon by the Supreme Court of the United States. It was 
passed upon in the case of Garfielde against the United 
States, where he claimed greater damages because he had 
all the steamships to carry the mail from San Francisco to 
Portland, and the Supreme Court said it made no difference 
what his expense had been. He was bound by the letter 
of the law and the contract, and could have only one 
month's extra pay as his entire damage. 

Now, these gentlemen bring forward a law to protect the 
United States Government, and they bring that forward as 
an evidence of conspiracy, as evidence of a fraud. Nothing 
could be more unfair, nothing on earth could show a greater 
want of character. Now, let us see what else. 

The next great charge is false affidavits. They tell you 
that we made lots of them ; that we just had them for sale. 
False affidavits ! And that Mr. John W. Dorsey made two 
false affidavits in two cases. The evidence will show that 
he did not. The evidence will show that he made only one 
in each case, when we come to it. But I want to call your 
attention to this fact, that in one case one affidavit was 
made where it said the number of men and horses then 
necessary was eight, that on the expedited schedule it would 
be twenty-four. Three times eight are twenty-four. The 
second affidavit said the number of men and horses then 
was fifteen, and the number on expedition and increase 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 2O5 

would be forty-five. Three times fifteen are forty-five. So 
that the amount taken from the Government would be ex 
actly the same on both affidavits. You understand that. 
For instance, if it took five horses and men to do the then 
business, and would require fifteen to do the expedited and 
increased business, then you would be entitled to three 
times the amount of pay. So in this case one affidavit said 
it took eight and would take twenty-four, the other affi 
davit said it took fifteen and would take forty-five. Three 
times eight are twenty-four. Three times fifteen are forty- 
five. So that the amount of money taken from the Govern 
ment would be exactly the same under each affidavit. Now, 
that is all there is of that. 

In the next case, where he made two affidavits, I find 
that by the second affidavit it took, I think, thirteen thou 
sand dollars less from the Government, and yet they call the 
second affidavit a piece of perjury. And here is one thing 
that I want to impress upon all your minds. Where you 
not only carry the mail but carry passengers .it is an ex 
ceedingly difficult problem to say just how many horses 
and men it requires to carry the mail, and then how many 
men and horses it requires to carry the passengers. It is 
hard to make the divide you understand very hard. You 
can tell, for instance, the cost of mounting a railroad for a 
hundred miles, but it is very difficult to tell the cost of the 
bridges or what the spikes cost or what the deep cuts cost. 
You can take the whole together and say it cost so much a 
year. So in this case we can say it requires so many men 
and horses doing the business that we are doing, but it is 
almost impossible for the brain to separate exactly the 
passengers, the package business, from simply carrying the 
mail. As I said before, men will differ in opinion. Some 
men will say it will take ten horses, others twenty, others 
twenty-five, and then the next question arises, and I want 
to call particular attention to that question, and that is, 



2O6 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

whether the law means only the horses absolutely carrying 
the mail ; whether the law means by carriers only the men 
who ride the horses or drive the wagons. Now, I will tell 
you what I mean. I undertake to carry the mail, we will 
say from Omaha to San Francisco. How many men will it 
take ? Now, I will count all the men who are driving the 
stages, all the men who are gathering forage, all the men 
who are attending to that business in any way, and if on 
the way I have blacksmiths' shops where my horses are 
shod I will count those men. If I have men engaged in 
drawing wood a hundred miles, I will count those men. In 
other words, I will count all the men I pay, no matter 
whether they are keeping books in New York or carrying 
the mail across the desert. I will count all the men I pay ; 
so will you. What horses will you count ? All the horses 
engaged in the business ; those that are drawing corn for 
the others, as well as the rest, will you not ? There is an 
old fable that a trumpeter was captured in the war and he 
said to his captor, " I am not a soldier, I never shot any 
body." " Ah," they said, " but you incited others to shoot, 
and you are as much a soldier as anybody; we want 
you." 

Now, I say that we are entitled to count every man who 
carries the mail, and every man necessary to perform that 
service. So do you. Now, there we divide. The Govern 
ment says we shall count simply the men carrying the mail, 
nobody else, and we shall count simply the horses in act 
ual service. That is nonsense. For instance, you have 
got to have thirty horses. They are going all the time. 
Do you depend on just that thirty ? No, sir. If one gets 
lame you cannot carry the mail. You have got to have 
twenty or thirty horses in your corral, in the stables, so 
that if one of the others gives out you will have enough. 
That is one great question in this case, gentlemen. What 
I say to you now is that on every one of these routes in 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 207 

which my clients are interested, or, I may say, in which 
anybody is interested, the evidence will be that the affi 
davits were substantially correct. In many cases there was 
a far greater difference between the men and horses then 
used and the men and horses that were afterwards neces 
sary. 

You must take another thing into consideration. In 
a country where there are Indian depredations one man will 
not stay at a station by himself. He wants somebody with 
him ; he wants two or three with him, and the more fright 
ened he is the more men he will want. On that route from 
Bismarck to Tongue River, as to which it was sworn it 
would take a hundred and fifty men, the statement was 
made at a time when the men would not stay separately ; 
that they wanted five or six together at one station ; that 
they wanted men out on guard and watch. You will find 
before we get through, gentlemen, that the affidavits do not 
overstate the number. You will find in addition that these 
petitions were signed by the best men ; that that service 
was asked for by the best men, not simply in the Territories, 
but by some of the best men in the United States ; by mem 
bers of Congress, by Senators, by generals, by great and 
splendid men, men of national reputation. So when we 
come to that we will show to you that the affidavits made 
were substantially true. There is another charge that has 
been made, and that is that the affidavits in Mr. Peck's name 
were not made by him ; that he never signed these affi 
davits. 

Yet, gentlemen, we will prove to you as the Govern 
ment once proved by Mr. Taylor, a notary public in New 
Mexico, that Mr. Peck appeared personally before him ; 
that he was personalty acquainted with Mr. Peck, and that 
he signed and swore to those affidavits in his presence. 
That we will substantiate in this trial as the Governmew* 
substantiated it in the other. These, creciicaien, are among 



208 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the charges that have been made against us. I say to you 
to-day they will not be able to show that we ever put upon 
the files of the Post-Office Department a solitary letter, a 
solitary petition, a solitary communication that was not 
genuine and true. Not one. They cannot do it. They 
never will do it. You will be astonished when you hear 
these petitions to find the Government admitting that they 
are true. If they do not read them we will read them. 
That is all. 

Now, I have stated to you a few of the charges made 
against my clients up to this point. I want to keep it in 
your mind. I want each man on this jury to understand 
exactly what I say. Let us go over this ground a little. I 
want to be sure you remember it. In the first place, S. W. 
Dorsey was not interested in these routes. All the bids 
were made by John W. Dorsey, John M. Peck, John R. 
Miner, and a man by the name of Boone. All the inform 
ation was gathered by Mr. Boone by sending circulars to 
every postmaster on the routes. Upon that information 
John W. Dorsey, John M. Peck, and John R. Miner made 
their calculations and made their bids, numbering in all 
about twelve hundred. Of that number they had awarded 
to them a hundred and thirty-four contracts. Recollect 
that. After those contracts were awarded to them they 
were without the money to put the stock on all the routes, 
because more contracts were awarded than they expected. 
Thereupon John R. Miner borrowed some money from 
Stephen W. Dorsey and kept up that borrowing until the 
amount reached some sixteen or eighteen thousand dollars. 
Don't forget it. After it got to that point Mr. Dorsey 
started for New Mexico. At Saint Louis he met John R. 
Miner, then coming from Montana, and John R. Miner said 
to him, " We have got to have some more money of you ; " 
and Dorsey replied, " I have no more money to give you." 
Miner then said, " You give your note or indorse mine for 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 2OQ 

nine or ten thousand dollars." Dorsey replied, " If you 
will give me post-office orders and drafts, not only to secure 
the note I am about to indorse or make for you, but also 
to the amount of the money I have advanced for you, I 
will give the note." That was agreed upon. Thereupon he 
gave the note. It was discounted in the German-American 
National Bank, and Mr. Miner deposited with the note the 
orders on the Post-Office Department, not only to secure 
the note, but the sixteen thousand dollars that Dorsey had 
before that time advanced. Dorsey went on to New Mexico, 
and in May or July of that year another law was passed, 
allowing a subcontractor to put his subcontract on file. 
After he had advanced that money and indorsed or signed 
the note, they made the contract with Mr. Vaile, turning 
these routes over to him and giving him subcontracts on 
all these routes. When Stephen W. Dorsey came back 
from New Mexico in December of that year he found that 
the note at the German-American National Bank had been 
protested, and that his collateral security was at that time 
worthless, because the subcontracts had been filed and 
these subcontracts cut out the post-office orders or drafts. 
Thereupon he wanted a settlement. Matters drifted along 
until April, 1879, an d then a settlement was made. I have 
told you that from the time the routes were given to Mr. 
Vaile until that time nobody had the slightest thing to do 
with them except Mr. Vaile ; that in April, 1879, the 
division was made ; that Mr. Vaile paid the note at the 
German-American National Bank ; that the division was 
made, as I told you, by Mr. Vaile drawing one route, Mr. 
Dorsey one, and Mr. Miner one, and keeping that up until 
they were all drawn. I forgot to tell you before that Mr. 
S. W. Dorsey had sixteen thousand dollars, to which, if you 
add the interest, it would be about eighteen thousand dol 
lars ; that John W. Dorsey had ten thousand dollars and 
John M. Peck had ten thousand dollars, ard when thatdi- 



210 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

vision was made Stephen W. Dorsey agreed to pay John 
W. Dorsey ten thousand dollars, and to pay John M. Peck 
ten thousand dollars for his interest. Gentlemen, he did 
pay John W. Dorsey ten thousand dollars, and he did pay 
the same amount to Peck, and from that day to this John 
W. Dorsey has never had the interest of one solitary cent in 
any one of these routes. He was simply paid back the 
money that he expended. Not another cent. John M. Peck 
never made by this business one solitary dollar. He sim 
ply received back the money he had expended. After he 
had paid back that money to both of these men, Stephen W. 
Dorsey took these routes with a debt to him of between six 
teen and eighteen thousand dollars. Now, as to Mr. Rer- 
dell. They say he was the private secretary of Stephen W. 
Dorsey. He never was ; not for a moment, not for a single 
moment. He attended to some of this business. I have no 
doubt that the Government imagine they can debauch 
somebody in order to get information. I give them notice 
now GO ON. There is no living man whose testimony we 
fear. There is no riving lawyer who has the genius to 
make perjury do us harm. I want you to understand it. 
And I want them to understand that I know precisely what 
they are endeavoring to do. There is only one way for 
them to surprise me, and that is for them to do a kind 
thing. 

Now, gentlemen, at that time I want you to remember 
it ; I do not want you to forget it when these routes came 
to Mr. Dorsey, he, not understanding the business, turned 
it over to Mr. James W. Bosler. Mr. Bosler, as I told you 
before, is a man of wealth. But, say these gentlemen, 
"While these routes were in your possession, and while 
Stephen W. Dorsey had an interest in them he asked men 
to sign petitions in favor of an increase of trips and decrease 
of time." What if he did ? Suppose you have a house out 
here somewhere ; you can petition to have a street opened, 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 211 

even if you have the contract for paving the street. You 
have a right to petition to have a schoolhouse located in 
your neighborhood even if you have children. There is 
no harm about that. You certainly can petition to have 
cows prevented from running at large even if there is no 
fence around your yard. I think you could do so without 
being indicted for conspiracy. I think a man might start 
a subscription for a church, even if he owned a brick-yard 
and expected to sell bricks to build it. Now, suppose I 
had a contract to carry the mail through the State of Cali 
fornia from one end to the other once a week, is there any 
harm in my asking the people of that country to petition to 
have it carried twice a week ? Do you not remember what 
I told you ? All the members of Congress out there, when 
they go home want to say to the people when they meet at 
the convention with all the delegates on hand. " Why, 
gentlemen, you did not used to get the New York Herald 
or New York Times, or The Sun, until it was two weeks 
old, and now it is only a week old. Where you only had 
one mail I have given you three. I have got fifty thousand 
dollars to improve your harbor, and one hundred thousand 
dollars for a new custom-house. Look at me, gentlemen, 
I am a candiate for re-election." That is natural. This 
Court will instruct you that any man who is carrying a mail 
anywhere in the United States has the right to use his in 
fluence in getting up petitions for the increase of that serv 
ice or the expedition of that time. They say Dorsey did 
this. What of it ? They say Dorsey tried to manufacture 
public opinion. That is what these gentlemen of the prose 
cution have been doing for eighteen months, and now they 
object to the manufacture of public opinion. Public opinion 
is their stock in trade. 

Leaving that charge, every man who has a contract for 
carrying the mail has the right to call the attention of 
every editor in that country to the fact that they need more 



212 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

mail service. He has the right to send his agents there 
and if the people want to petition for more service, and if 
Congress is willing to give them more service, no human 
being has a right to complain in this manner and in a 
criminal court. If any offence has been committed it is of 
a political nature. If a member of Congress gets too much 
service his people can keep him at home. If he does too 
much for his locality they need not elect him the next 
time. It is a political offence for which there is a political 
punishment and a political remedy. So much for the right 
of petition. I am perfectly willing to tell all he did in re 
gard to the increase of service and the expedition. 

While I am on that point I want you to distinctly under 
stand what increase is and what expedition is. Increase of 
service means more of the same kind. Suppose I am to 
carry the mail from one place to another. We will call it 
from Si -Wash to (90- Ray. If I am to carry that mail 
once a week for five hundred dollars and they want it 
twice a week, I have one thousand dollars, but do not 
carry it any faster. That is an increase. Suppose I am 
carrying it in say two hundred hours and they want it car 
ried in half that time. That is what they call expedition. 
Now, the question is as to the difference in cost of carry 
ing the mail at six miles an hour, or at two and a half, or 
two, or one and a half. If I carry it slowly, I can go at a 
reasonable rate in the day and can lie by at night. I want 
you to understand distinctly the difference between increase 
of service, which is more of the same kind, and expedition, 
which means the same kind at a faster rate. Now, I can 
carry the mail twenty miles and back in a day and do that 
a great deal easier than if I were to make the distance in 
four or five hours. The difference is just about the same 
with a locomotive as with a horse. If a train runs twenty 
miles an hour and you want to increase its speed to thirty, 
it will cost altogether more than twice as much as it does 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 213 

to run it at twenty. If you want to increase it still further 
to forty or sixty, it will cost at sixty more than three times 
as much as at twenty. The cost increases in an increased 
proportion. I want you to understand that. Now, we 
are charged with having done some frightful things on 
several of these routes, and for three days and a half your 
ears were filled with charges of the rascality we have per 
petrated. We had some ten or eleven routes, and we are 
charged with having defrauded the Government on those 
particular routes. Let us see what my clients did. Do not 
understand me as saying that because my clients have done 
nothing the other defendants have. I do not take that 
position. I take the position that according to the evidence 
in this case there is nothing against any of these defend 
ants. Leave out passion, prejudice, falsehood, and hatred 
and there is absolutely nothing left. If you will take from 
Mr. Bliss's speech all the mistakes he made in law and fact, 
there will be nothing left to answer ; not a word. But I 
think it due to my client, gentlemen, my client who is not 
able to be in this court, my client who sits at home wrapped 
in darkness, that I should answer every allegation touching 
every route in which he was interested. I think it due to 
him. [Resuming] 

I will call your attention to a few of the routes, possibly to 
all, in which my clients were interested. It will take but a 
short time. I want you to know whether or not these routes 
were important, whether it was proper to carry the mails as 
they were carried, whether it was proper that they should 
be carried from once to seven times a week, and whether it 
was proper that the speed should be expedited. Now, you 
may think after hearing the evidence that there were some 
routes that never should have been established ; but that does 
not establish a conspiracy. That simply establishes the fact 
that Congress created routes where they were not absolutely 
necessary. You may come to the conclusion that General 



214 OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Brady ordered more trips on some of these routes than he 
should have ordered. That does not establish a conspiracy. 
The most that it could establish would be extravagance. 
and extravagance is not a crime. If it were, the peniten 
tiaries of the day would not be large enough or rather 
wotcld be large enough, and too large, to hold the honest 
men. You may say after you have heard the evidence that 
the time was faster than it need be ; but you must take in 
to consideration all the connecting routes, and even if you 
should so feel, it is for you to say whether that establishes 
any conspiracy. All these things must be taken into con 
sideration. 

We will take first the route from Garland to Parrott 



Now, I have gone over just a few of these charges. I 
have shown you that they are false ; that they are without 
the slightest shadow of foundation in fact. Now, gentle 
men, after you hear all this evidence, it is for you to de 
termine. It is for you to say whether these men entered 
into a conspiracy to defraud this Government. It is for 
you to say whether our testimony is to be believed, or 
whether you are to decide this case upon the suspicions of 
the Government. It is for you to say whether you will 
believe the contracts and the witnesses, or whether you will 
take the prejudice of the public press; whether you will 
take the opinion of the Attorney-General ; whether you 
will take the letter of some counselor at law, or whether 
you will be governed by the testimony in this case. It is 
for you to say, gentlemen, whether a man shall be found 
guilty on inference ; whether a man shall be deprived of 
his liberty by prejudice. It is for you to say whether 
reputation shall be destroyed by malice and by ignorance. 
It is for you to say whether a man who fought to sustain 
this Government shall not have the protection of the laws. 
It is for you [indicating a juror] and it is for you [indi- 



OPENING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 215 

eating another juror] and you [indicating another juror] 
and you [indicating another juror] to say whether a man 
who fought to take the chains off your body shall have 
chains put upon his by your prejudice and by your igno 
rance. It is for you to say whether you will be guided by 
law, by evidence, by justice, and by reason, or whether 
you will be controlled by fear, by prejudice, and by official 
power. That, gentlemen, is all I wish to say in this 
opening. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN 
SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL 



CLOSING ADDRESS TO THE JURY IN THE SECOND 
STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

MAY it please the Court and gentlemen of the jury : 
Perhaps some of you, may be all of you, will re 
member that I made one of the opening speeches of this 
case, and that in that opening speech I endeavored to give 
you the scheme or plan of the indictment. I told you, I 
believe, at that time, that all these defendants were in 
dicted for having conspired together to defraud the United 
States. In that indictment they were kind enough to tell 
us how we agreed to accomplish that object ; that we went 
into partnership with the Second Assistant Postmaster- 
General, he being one of these defendants, and that we 
then and there agreed to get up false petitions, to have 
them signed by persons who were not interested in the 
mail service, to sign fictitious names to these petitions, 
those names representing no actual, real, living persons; 
that we also agreed to have false and fraudulent letters 
written to the department urging this service ; that in ad 
dition to all that we were to make and file fatee and fraud 
ulent affidavits, in which we were to swear falsely as to 
the number of men and horses to be employed, and the 
number of men and horses then necessary ; that in addition 
to that we were to file fraudulent subcontracts ; that the 
Second Assistant Postmaster- General was to make false 
and corrupt orders, and that all these things were to be 
done to deceive, mislead, and blindfold the Postmaster- 

(219) 



220 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

General. They also set out that these orders so corruptly 
made were to be corruptly certified to the Auditor of the 
Treasury for the Post-Office Department in order that we 
might draw our pay. That is what is known as the 
general scheme or plan of this indictment. You have 
heard the testimony, and remember some of it. Of course 
you do not remember it all. Probably no man ever lived 
who could do such a thing. You have heard the testimony 
discussed, I believe, for about twenty days, so that I take 
it for granted you know something about it, or at least 
have an idea that you do. The story that we told you in 
the first place, and that we now tell you, is about this : 

In 1877 Mr. Peck, Mr. Miner, and John W. Dorsey 
made up their minds to make bids and to go into the mail 
business. I want you to remember that there is not one 
word in this indictment about any false bid ever having 
been made. Remember that. There is nothing in this 
indictment about a false bond having been given ; not a 
thing. There is nothing in this indictment charging that 
any of the original contracts were false. I want you to 
remember that. There is no evidence that any person 
signing any one of those contracts as security was not 
perfectly solvent. There is no evidence, not one syllable, 
that any proposal was fraudulent, or that any bid was 
fraudulent. How is it possible for a bid to be fraudulent ? 
I will tell you. If you make a bid, and make a contract 
or enter into an agreement at the same time with some of 
the Post-Office officials so that your bid will be accepted 
when it is not the lowest, there is a fraud, and there is a 
fraudulent bid. There is one other way, and that is to put 
in a bid to carry the mail at so many thousand dollars, 
and then have below that straw bidders, men not respon 
sible, and when the time comes to accept the bid of those 
gentlemen they refuse to carry it out, and then the law is 
that it shall be given to the next highest, and he refuses, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 221 

and the next, and he refuses, and the next highest, and he 
refuses, and so on until it comes to the highest bidder. 
There are such combinations and have been, I have no 
doubt, for many years in the Post-Office Department. 
That is called straw bidding, and it is fraudulent bidding. 
There is no such charge as that in this case. Every 
bid that was made was made in good faith, and every bid 
that was accepted was followed by a good and sufficient 
contract entered into by the party making the bid, and so 
that is the end of that. 

Now, in 1877, 1 say these men entered into an agreement 
among themselves that they would bid on certain routes, 
and Mr. Peck, or Mr. Miner, or John W. Dorsey they may 
have it as they choose somebody, wrote a letter to Stephen 
W. Dorsey and in that letter told what they were going to 
do and requested him to get some man to obtain informa 
tion in regard to these routes. YOU know that testimony. 
Stephen W. Dorsey was then in the United States Senate. 
He sent for Mr. Boone and he showed him that letter. In 
consequence of that Mr. Boone sent out his circulars to 
the postmasters all over the country, or all over the 
portion as to which they were to bid, and asked them 
about the roads, about the price of oats and corn, about 
the price of labor, and about the winters ; in other words, 
all the questions necessary for an intelligent man, after 
having received intelligent answers, to make up his mind 
as to the amount for which he could carry that mail. Mr. 
Boone, you remember, says that he was to have at that 
time a certain share. There is a conflict of testimony 
there. Mr. Dorsey says that he told Boone that when 
John W. Dorsey came here they could arrange that, and 
he had no doubt that they would be willing to give 
him a share ; but that he did not give it to him. The cir 
culars were sent out and the information in some instances, 
and I do not know but all, came back. Then they agreed 



222 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

upon the amounts they were to bid. I believe Mr. Miner 
came here in December, and John W. Dorsey, I think, in 
January, and in February the bids were made. All the 
amounts were put in the bidding-book issued by the Gov 
ernment, by Mr. Miner and Mr. Boone ; all with two ex 
ceptions, and those amounts had been placed there by 
them, but under the advice of Stephen W. Dorsey those 
amounts were lowered. I remember one was upon the 
Tongue River route, the other route I have forgotten. Mr. 
Miner, Mr. Peck, and John W. Dorsey were together. 
Afterwards a partnership was formed between John W. 
Dorsey and A. E. Boone. Stephen W. Dorsey advanced 
some money. There is nothing criminal about that. It is 
often foolish to advance money, but it is not a crime. It 
is often foolish to indorse for another, and many a man 
has been convinced of that, but it is not a crime. He 
advanced until, I believe, he was responsible for some 
fourteen or fifteen thousand dollars, and thereupon he 
declined to advance any more. He saw Mr. Miner in 
Saint Louis, and said to Mr. Miner, "This is the last I am 
going to advance." I think he gave him some notes that 
he hypothecated or discounted at the German-American 
National Bank. He wanted security, and thereupon they 
gave him Post-Office drafts for the purpose of securing his 
debt. He would advance no more money and went away 
to New Mexico. Mr. Miner had a power of attorney from 
John W. Dorsey who was absent, and a power of attorney 
from John M. Peck who was absent. I believe on the yth 
of August, or about that time, Mr. Boone went out. Why ? 
They had not the money at the time to put on the service. 
Why ? A great many more bids had been accepted than 
they had anticipated, and instead of getting twenty or 
thirty routes they got, I believe, one hundred and thirty- 
four routes. The consequence was they did not have the 
money to stock the routes. There was another difficulty. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 22$ 

There was an investigation by Congress, and that delayed 
them a month or two, and the consequence was that when 
the ist of July came, the day upon which the service 
should have been put on, it was not only not put on, but 
they had not the means to do it. Then what happened ? 
Then it was that Mr. Miner took in Mr. Vaile, and an 
agreement was made which bears date the i6th day of 
August, 1878. It was not finally signed by all the parties, 
I believe, until some time in September or October. Under 
that contract, which you have all heard read, Mr. Vaile 
was given an interest in this business. More than that ; 
subcontracts were given to Mr. Vaile, and under the sub 
contract law which was passed on the iyth day of May, 1878, 
I believe, Vaile could file his subcontract in the Post-Office 
Department, and that rendered all Post-Office drafts or 
orders that had been given absolutely worthless. That 
was done. The subcontracts were given to Vaile under 
the powers of attorney that Miner held from Peck and 
John W. Dorsey, and of course he could act for himself. 
That was the situation. Stephen W. Dorsey was not here. 
When he returned he found that everything had been dis 
posed of except his liability, and that he would have to 
pay the notes. His security was gone, and the sub 
contracts were filed. At that time he and Mr. Vaile had a 
quarrel. That is our story. In the meantime John W. 
Dorsey was on the Tongue River route. I believe he 
visited Washington in November and left word that he 
would like to sell out all his interests in these routes, and 
I believe fixed the price. Some time in November or 
December Mr. Vaile made up his mind to take the routes, 
and afterwards changed his mind. Stephen W. Dorsey 
was then in the Senate. On the 4th of March, 1879, n ^ s 
term expired. I believe on that very day, or about that 
day, he wrote a letter to Brady calling his attention to 
these subcontracts that had been filed for the protection of 



224 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Vaile and denouncing them. That was the first thing he 
did. Then a few days afterwards the parties met. In a 
little while afterwards they made a division of this entire 
business. You know how the division was made. Stephen 
W. Dorsey fell heir to about thirty of these routes, I think. 
In addition he had to pay ten thousand dollars to his 
brother and ten thousand dollars to Peck. Mr. Vaile, I 
think, took forty per cent, and Mr. Miner thirty per cent. 
Mr. Vaile and Mr. Miner went into partnership and Stephen 
W. Dorsey took his routes, and that ended it. Mr. Peck 
was out and John W. Dorsey was out. That is our story. 
When they divided those routes, in order to vest the 
property of those routes in the persons to whom they fell, 
it was necessary to execute subcontracts and give Post- 
Office drafts and things of that character. All those neces 
sary papers they then and there agreed to make. Up to 
this point there is not one act established by the evidence 
not entirely consistent with perfect innocence ; not an act. 
That is our story. After these routes fell to us we did 
what we had the right to do and what we could to make 
the routes of value. As business men we had the right to 
do it, and we did only what we had the right to do. 

The next question that arises, and which of course is at 
the very threshold of this case, is, did these parties con 
spire? That is the great question. In my judgment you 
should settle that the first thing when you go to the jury- 
room. After having heard the case as it will be presented 
by the Government, and after having heard the charge of 
the Court, the first thing for you to decide is, was there a 
conspiracy ? How is a conspiracy proved ? Precisely as 
everything else is proved. You prove that men conspire 
precisely as you prove them guilty of larceny or murder or 
any other crime or misdemeanor. It has been suggested 
to you that as conspiracy is very hard to prove you should 
not require much evidence ; that you should take into 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 225 

consideration the hardships of the Government in proving 
a crime which in its nature is secret. Nearly all crimes 
are secret. Very few men steal publicly, with a band of 
music and with a torch in each hand. They generally 
need their hands for other purposes, if they are in that 
business. All crime loves darkness. We all know that. 
One of the troubles about proving that a man has com 
mitted a crime is that he tries to keep it as secret as pos 
sible. He does not carry a placard on his breast or on his 
back stating what he is about to do. The consequence is 
that it is nearly always difficult to prove men guilty as 
stated in the indictment. But that does not relieve the 
prosecution. That burden is taken by the Government, 
and they must prove men guilty of conspiracy precisely as 
they prove anything else. Is circumstantial evidence 
sufficient ? Certainly, certainly. Circumstantial evidence 
will prove anything, provided the circumstances are right, 
and provided further that all the circumstances are right. 
A chain of circumstances is no stronger than the weakest 
circumstance, as a chain of iron is no stronger than the 
weakest link. Where you establish or attempt to estab 
lish a fact by circumstances, each circumstance must be 
proved not only beyond a reasonable doubt, but each cir 
cumstance must be wholly inconsistent with the innocence 
of the defendants. Now, let me call your attention to what 
I claim to be the law upon the subject, and I will call the 
attention of the Court to it at the same time. I will take 
this as a kind of test : 

The hypothesis of guilt must flow naturally from the facts proved 
and must be consistent with them ; not with some of them, not with 
the majority of them, but with all of them. 

In other words if they establish one hundred circum 
stances and ninety-nine point to guilt and one circumstance 
thoroughly established is inconsistent with guilt or per 
fectly consistent with innocence, that is the end of the case. 



226 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

It is as if you were building an arch. Every stone that 
you put into the arch must fit with every other and must 
make that segment of the circle. If one stone does not fit, 
the arch is not complete. So with circumstantial evidence. 
Every circumstance must fit every other. Every solitary 
circumstance must be of the exact shape to fit its neighbor, 
and when they are all together the arch must be absolutely 
complete. Otherwise you must find the defendants not 
guilty. The next sentence is : 

The evidence must be such as to exclude every reasonable hypoth 
esis except that of guilt. In other words, all the facts proved must be 
consistent with and point to the guilt of the defendants not only, but 
they must be inconsistent, and every fact proved must be inconsistent, 
with their innocence. 

Now, what does that mean ? It means that every fact 
that is absolutely established in this case, must point to 
the guilt of the defendants. It means that if there is one 
established fact that is inconsistent with their guilt, that 
fact becomes instantly an inpenetrable shield that no hon 
est verdict can pierce. That is what it means. That being 
so and the Court in my judgment will instruct you that 
that is the law let us talk a little about what has been es 
tablished. 

In the first place, nearly all that has been established, or I 
will not say established, but nearly all that has been said, for 
the purpose of showing that our motives were corrupt, and 
that we actually conspired, rests upon evidence of what we 
call conversations. Some witness had a conversation with 
somebody, three years ago, four years ago, or five years 
ago. The unsafest and the most unsatisfactory evidence 
in this world is evidence of conversation. Words leave no 
trace. They leave no scar in the air, no footsteps. Mem 
ory writes upon the secret tablet of the brain words that no 
human eye can see. No man can look into the brain of 
another and tell whether he is giving a true transcript of 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 227 

what is there. It is absolutely impossible for you to tell 
whether it is memory or imagination. No one can do it. 
Another thing : Probably there is not a man in the world 
whose memory makes an absolutely perfect record. The 
moment it is written it begins to fade, and as the days pass 
it grows dim, and as the years go by, no matter how deeply 
it may have been engraven, it is covered by the moss of 
forgetfulness. And yet you are asked to take from men 
their liberty, to take from citizens their reputation, to tear 
down roof-trees, on testimony about conversation that hap 
pened years and years ago, as to which the party testifying 
had not the slightest interest. As a rule, memory is the 
child of attention memory is the child of interest. Take 
the avaricious man. He sets down a debt in his brain, and 
he graves it as deep as graving upon stone. A man must 
have interest. His attention must be aroused. Tell me 
that a man can remember a conversation of four or five 
years ago in which he had no interest. We have been in 
this trial I don't know how many years. I have seen you, 
gentlemen, gradually growing gray. You have, during this 
trial, heard argument after argument as to what some wit 
ness said, as to some line embodied in this library. [Indi 
cating record.] You have heard the counsel for the prose 
cution say one thing, the counsel for the defence another, 
and often his Honor, holding the impartial scales of mem 
ory, differs from us both, and then we have turned to the 
record and found that all were mistaken. That has hap 
pened again and again, and yet when that witness was 
testifying every attorney for the defence was watching him, 
and every attorney for the prosecution was looking at him. 
How hard it would be for you, Mr. Juror, or for any one of 
you to tell what a witness has said in this case. Yet men 
are brought here who had a casual conversation with one 
of the defendants five years ago about a matter in which no 
one of the witnesses was interested to the extent of one 



228 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

cent, and pretend to give that conversation entire. For my 
part, were I upon the jury, I would pay no more attention 
to such evidence than I would to the idle wind. Such men 
are not giving a true transcript of their brains. It is the 
result of imagination. They wish to say something. They 
recollect they had a conversation upon a certain subject, 
and then they fill it out to suit the prosecution. 

Now, I am told another thing ; that after getting through 
with conversations they then gave us notice that we must 
produce our books, our papers, our letters, our stubs, and 
our checks ; that we must produce everything in which we 
have any interest, and hand them all over to this prosecu 
tion. They say they only want what pertains to the mail 
business, but who is to judge of that? They want to 
look at them to see if they do pertain to the mail busi 
ness. They won't take our word. We must produce them 
all. It may be that with such a net they might bring in 
something that would be calculated to get somebody in 
trouble about something, no matter whether this business 
or not. They might find out something that would annoy 
somebody. They gave us a notice wide enough and broad 
enough to cover everything we had or were likely to have. 
What did they want with those things ? May be one of 
their witnesses wanted to see them. May be he wanted to 
stake out his testimony. May be he did not entirely rely 
upon his memory and wanted to find whether he should swear 
as to check-books or a check-book, and whether he should 
swear as to one stub or as to many. May be he wanted to 
look them all over so that he could fortify the story he was go 
ing to tell. We did not give them the books. We would 
not do it. We took the consequences. But what did we offer ? 
That is the only way to find out our motive. I believe that 
on page 3776 there is something upon that subject. I will 
read what I said : 

Now, gentlemen, with regard to the books. As there has been a 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

good deal said on that subject I make this proposition : Mr. Dorsey 
has books extending over a period of twenty years, or somewhere in 
that neighborhood. He has had accounts with a great many people 
on a great many subjects. He does not wish to bring those books 
into court, or to have those accounts gone over by this prosecution, 
not for reasons in this case, but for reasons entirely outside of the 
case. If the gentlemen on the other side will agree, or if the Court 
will appoint any two men or any three men, we will present to those 
men all our books, every one that we ever had in the world, and 
allow them to go over every solitary item and report to this court 
every item pertaining to John W. Dorsey & Co., Miner, Peck & Co., 
or Vaile, Miner & Co., with regard to every dollar connected, direct 
ly or indirectly, with this entire business from November or December, 
1877, to the present moment, and report to this Court exactly every 
item just as it is. I make that proposition. 

That proposition was refused. What else did I do ? I 
offered to bring into court every check, including the time 
they said we drew money to pay Brady. I offered to bring in 
every check on every bank in which we had one dollar de 
posited; every one. That was not admitted. And why? 
Because the Court distinctly said that it rests upon the oath of 
the defendant at last ; he may have had money in banks that 
we know nothing about. To which I replied at the time that 
if we stated here in open court the name of every bank in 
which we did business, and there is any other bank knowing 
that we did do business with it, we will hear from it. So that 
we offered, gentlemen, in this case, every check on every 
bank but one. I did not know at that time that we had ever 
had an account with the German-American Savings Bank ; I 
did not find that out until afterwards. But you will remember 
that Mr. Merrick held in his hand the account of Dorsey with 
that bank ; and Mr. Keyser, who, I believe, had charge of 
that bank, was here, and if there had been anything upon 
those books, certainly the Government would have shown it. 

More than that; that bank went into the hands of a 
receiver, I think, eight months before any of these checks 
are said to have been given for mojiey which was after 
wards given to Brady. Now, they insist, that because we 



230 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

failed to bring the books into court, therefore the law 
presumes that the absolute evidence of our guilt is in those 
books. I believe they claim that as the law. If my 
memory serves me rightly, Colonel Bliss so claimed in his 
speech. In other words, that when they give us notice to 
produce a book, and we do not produce it, there is a pre 
sumption against us. That is not the law, gentlemen. 
When they give us notice to produce a book or letter and 
we do not produce it, what can they do? They can prove 
the contents of the book or letter. In other words, if we 
fail to produce what is called the best evidence, then the 
Government can introduce secondary evidence. They can 
prove the contents by the memory of some witness, by 
some copy, no matter how ; and that is the only possible 
consequence flowing from a refusal to produce the book 
or letter. 

And yet, in this case, gentlemen, Mr. Bliss wishes you to 
give a verdict based upon two things : first, upon what we 
failed to prove ; secondly, on what the Court would not let 
them prove. He tells you that they offered to prove so and 
so, but the Court would not let them ; he wants you to take 
that into consideration ; and secondly, that there were certain 
things that we did not prove ; and that those two make up a 
case. That is their idea. Now, let us see if I am right about 
the law. 

The first case to which I will call the attention of the Court 
is a very small one, but the principle is clear. It is the case 
of Lawson and another, assignees of Shiffner, vs. Sherwood, 
and it is found in 2 English Common-Law Reports ; i 
Starkie, 314. 

The COURT. Colonel Ingersoll, you cannot argue that 
question to the jury ; you cannot cite an authority and discuss 
it to the jury. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Then I will discuss it with the Court; it is 
immaterial to me which way I turn when I am talking. I 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 231 

insist that the jury must at last decide the law in this case. 
I will read another case to the Court, found in 9 Maryland, 
Spring Garden Mutual Insurance Company, vs. Evans. 

The Court decides in this case that the only consequence of 
their refusal to produce the papers, they not denying that 
they had them, was to allow the opposite party to prove 
their contents. That is all ; that it could not be patched out 
with a presumption. 

The COURT. But if afterwards they should attempt to con 
tradict the secondary evidence the Court would not have al 
lowed them to do it. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It does not say so. 

The COURT. That is the law. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Suppose, after the other side had proved 
the contents, there was an offer of the actual original papers. 
I can find plenty of authority that they must be received. 

The COURT. I have never seen such authority, but I have 
seen a great many to the contrary. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I have never seen an authority to the con 
trary that was very well reasoned. But, then, I will not argue 
about that, for that is not a point in this case. 

The COURT. If you have the papers, and have received no 
tice to produce them, you are bound to produce them. If 
you do not produce them secondary evidence is admissible to 
prove their contents. But after the secondary evidence has 
been received, the Court will not allow you then, after having 
first failed to produce the papers upon notice, to resort to the 
primary evidence which you ought to have produced upon the 
notice, for the purpose of contradicting the secondary evi 
dence that was given. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Now, let me give the Court a case in point : 
In this very case that we are now trying, Mr. Rerdell in his 
statement to MacVeagh said there was a check for seven 
thousand dollars ; that the money was drawn upon that check ; 
that he and Dorsey went together to the Post-Office Depart 
ment and that Dorsey went into Brady's room ; that that 



232 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

money was drawn by Dorsey. That was his statement to 
MacVeagh and James. 

The COURT. It was not his statement here. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes, that was his statement here, as I will 
show hereafter. But let me state my point. He was coming 
upon the stand. The check, instead of being for seven thou 
sand dollars, was for seven thousand five hundred dollars ; in 
stead of being drawn to the order of Dorsey or to bearer, it 
was drawn to the order of Rerdell himself ; instead of being 
drawn at the bank by Dorsey, it was drawn by Rerdell in 
person and had his indorsement upon the back of it. We 
were asked to produce that. I preferred not to do it until I 
heard the testimony of Mr. Rerdell. Why ? Because I wanted 
to put that little piece of dynamite under his testimony and 
see where the fragments went, and I did. That is my answer 
to that. 

Now, I find another case in the first volume of Curtis's 
Circuit Court Reports, where it is said, on page 402, that 

By the common law a notice to produce a paper 

The COURT. [Interposing.] Before we part from what you 
were saying, I wish to say that I do not think that the other 
side gave you notice to produce the checks ; that is my 
memory. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes. Let me state my memory to the 
Court : I do not remember exactly every one of jthese four 
thousand pages of testimony ; there are three or four that I 
may be a little dim about ; but I do remember that a notice 
was given to us to produce everything in the universe, nearly, 
and that the Court held that the scope was a little too broad. 
I have forgotten the page, but I will tell you where it comes 
in : It was where Mr. Rerdell swore about the stub-book. I 
find the notice, may it please your Honor, on page 2255, and 
it was dated the i3th of February. This is the notice, and it 
gave the same notice to all the defendants : 

You are hereby notified to produce forthwith in court, in the above 
entitled cause, all letters and communications, including all telegrams. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 233 

of every kind and description, purporting to come from anyone of 
said defendants and addressed to you or delivered to you, and all 
memoranda in which reference is made to any contract or contracts 
of any one of said defendants with the United States or with the Post 
master-General for carrying the mail under the letting of 1878 on any 
route in the United States, or in any way referring to any contract 
or contracts for so carrying the mail, in which J. W. Hosier or any one 
of said defendants had any interest, or in any way referring to any act, 
contract, or proceeding thereunder, or to any payment, draft, warrant, 
check, or bill, or note, or to any possible loss or profit in connection 
with such contract or contracts, or to the management or execution 
thereof, or referring to any possible gain or profit to be derived by 
any of said defendants from contracts for carrying the mail of the 
United States, or to any payments under such contract, or to the dis 
tribution of the proceeds made or to be made of said payment, or to 
the management of any enterprise or enterprises in connection with 
the transportation of the mail, or to gains, profits, or losses accruing 
or likely to accrue from such enterprises, or to the financial means 
for carrying on the same ; and also to produce any and all books con 
taining any entry or entries in regard to any of the subjects, matters, 
checks, drafts, or payments relating or having reference to the sub 
jects, &c., hereinbefore referred to ; and also any letter-book or 
letter-books containing letter-press copies of letters referring to the 
said subject or subjects. 

I believe just about that time, or a little after, another no 
tice was given. 

Mr. MERRICK. If the counsel will allow me, my impression 
is that that notice was deemed by the Court to be too broad. 

The COURT. It was. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Then another notice was given that speci 
fied all these things. 

Curtis says in this case that 

By the common law, a notice to produce a paper, merely enables 
the party to give parol evidence of its contents, if it be not produced. 
Its non-production has no other legal consequence. 

I find too, that in the Maryland case they make a reference 
to Cooper vs. Gibson, 3 Camp., 303. I also have another 
case, to which I will call the attention of the Court, United 
States vs. Chaffee, 18 Wallace, 516. I have not the book 
here, but I can state what it is. My recollection of the case is 



234 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

this : That an action was brought against some distillers ; that 
by law distillers have to keep certain books in which certain 
entries by law have to be made. Notice was served upon the 
defendants to produce those books. They refused so to do ; 
and the question was whether any presumption arose against 
the defendants on account of that refusal. 

The COURT. I agree with you entirely that far in your law, 
that the mere fact of the failure to produce books or papers has 
no effect at all against the party declining to produce them. 
But it is a different question altogether, after secondary evi 
dence has been given, in consequence of such refusal, to sup 
ply the place of the primary evidence. If the books and 
papers have an existence, and the party who has received the 
notice has refused to produce them, and the other party has 
given secondary evidence of the contents of such books and 
papers, that secondary evidence will have to stand, under 
those circumstances, as the proof in the case. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is not the point. Of course that will 
stand for what it is worth. I was arguing this point : Can the 
jury hatch and putty and plaster the secondary evidence 
with a presumption born of the failure to produce the books 
and papers ? 

The COURT. What I mean is just this : If you should fail to 
produce the primary evidence, and then the secondary evi 
dence of the contents is not contradicted 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] It may not be contradicted, 
because it happens to be inherently improbable. 

Mr. MERRICK. The Government claims the law to be as 
your Honor has intimated, and we have formulated it in one of 
our prayers. But that abstract proposition is hardly appli 
cable in the present case, for the Government claims the 
application of another and plainer proposition : That wherever 
a defendant himself takes the stand and has in his possession 
a certain paper which, when called upon on cross-examination 
to produce, he refuses, then a presumption unquestionably 
arises of such potency that it is difficult to resist. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 235 

Mr. INGERSOLL. There is no difference, so far as the law is 
concerned, whether the defendant, as a defendant, fails to 
produce the books and papers, or whether, in his capacity 
as a witness, he fails to produce the books and papers. 
The law, it seems to me, is exactly the same. 

Now, in this case of the United States vs. Chaffee et al. (18 
Wall., 544), Justice Field denounces that you should presume 
against the party because he fails to produce books and papers 
known to be in his possession. And why ? I suppose a party 
can not be presumed out of his liberty ; he cannot be pre 
sumed into the penitentiary ; and you cannot make a prison 
out of a presumption any more than you can make a gibbet out 
of a suspicion. 

And again, the court instructed the jury that the law presumed that 
the defendants kept the accounts usual and necessary for the correct 
understanding of their large business and an accurate accounting be 
tween the partners, and that the books were in existence and access 
ible to the defendants unless the contrary were shown. 

That same thing has been claimed here. 

The COURT. No. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. We have heard it very often that this was 
a large business. 

The COURT. You have not heard anything of that kind 
from the Court. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I am not saying that. I said "claimed"; 
if I had referred to your Honor I should have said "decided." 
Here is another instruction of the court : 

If you believe the books were kept which contained the facts neces 
sary to show the real amount of whiskey in the hands of the defendants 
in October, 1865, and the amount which they had sold during the next 
ten months, or that the defendants, or either of them, could by their 
own oath resolve all doubts on this point ; if you believe this, then the 
circumstances of this case seem to come fully within this most neces 
sary and beneficent rule. 

He applied the word "beneficent" to a rule that put a 
man in the penitentiary on a presumption. 
The COURT. He was conservative. 



236 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. He ought to read some work on the use 
and abuse of words. Now, Judge Field says further : 

The purport of all this was to tell the jury that although the defend 
ants must be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, yet if the 
Government had made out a prima facie case against them, not one 
free from all doubt, but one which disclosed circumstances requiring 
explanation, and the defendants did not explain, the perplexing 
question of their guilt need not disturb the minds of the jurors. 

That is this case exactly : that is the exact claim of Colonel 
Bliss in this case. Gentlemen, you have only to take into 
consideration, he says, what we offered to prove and what the 
Court would not allow us, and what the defendants failed to 
prove. ' ' Why didn' t they call Hosier ? ' ' 

Now, gentlemen, we claim the law to be this : That while 
notice is given us to produce books and papers and we fail to 
do it, the only legal consequence is that the Government may 
then prove the contents of such books and papers, and that 
their proof of the contents must be passed upon by you. 

The next thing to which I call your attention is the crime 
laid at our door, that we exercised the right of petition. It is 
regarded as a very suspicious circumstance that petitions were 
circulated, signed, and sent to the office of the Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General. Why did these people peti 
tion ? Let me tell you. If you will look in every contract in 
this case you will find certain provisions relative to carrying 
the mail. Among others you will find this : That no con 
tractor has any right to carry any newspaper or any letter 
faster than the schedule time ; that he has no right to carry 
any commercial news, or to carry any man who has any 
commercial news about his person, faster than the schedule 
time. No mail can be carried by anybody except the 
United States, and if a community wants more mail it has 
no right to establish, an express that will carry the mail 
faster, because the United States has the monopoly. Now, 
if you want more mail, what are you to do ? You cannot 
start one yourself ; the Government will not allow it. What 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 237 

have you to do ? You have to petition the Government to 
carry the mail faster or to carry it more frequently ; and 
the reason you have to ask the Government to do this is 
because the Government will not permit you to do it ; 
consequently you have only one resort. What is that? 
Petition. And in this very case I believe his Honor used 
this language : 

Every man carrying the mail has the right to take care of his business. 
He has the right to get up petitions. He has the right to call the at 
tention of the people to what he supposes to be their needs in that 
regard. He has the right to do it, and the fact that he does it is not 
the slightest evidence that he has conspired with any human being. 

Now, if the man carrying the mail has the right to call 
the attention of the people to their needs, have not the 
people the right to do all that themselves ? If the man 
carrying the mail has the right to get up a petition, surely 
the people have the right ; and if the people have the right, 
surely the man has that right. That is the only way we 
can find out in this country what the people want that is, 
to hear from them. They have the right to tell what they 
want. 

But these gentlemen say, " Anybody will sign a petition." 
Well, if that is true, there is no great necessity for forging 
one. Very few people will steal what they can get for the 
asking. If a bank or a man offers you all the money you 
want, you would hardly go and forge a check to get it. I 
will come to that in a few moments. 

Now, gentlemen, according to this evidence, you have 
got to determine, as I said in the outset, Was there a con 
spiracy ? The second question you have to determine is, 
When? In every crime in the world you have got to 
prove the four W's Who, When, What, Where? Who 
conspired ? When ? What about ? Where ? Now I 
want to ask you a few questions, and I want you to keep 
this evidence in mind. Was there a conspiracy when 



238 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Dorsey received the letter from Peck or Miner ? Had the 
egg of this crime then been laid ? Had it been hatched at 
that time ? Is there any evidence of it? The object then 
was to make some bids. It is not necessary to conspire to 
make bids. You cannot conspire to make fraudulent bids 
unless you enter into an agreement that the lowest bid is 
not to be accepted, or agree upon some machinery by 
which the lowest bid is not received, or put in a bid with 
fraudulent and worthless security. Will the Government 
say that there was a conspiracy at the time Peck or Miner 
wrote to S. W. Dorsey? What evidence have you that 
there was ? None. What evidence have you that there was 
not ? The evidence of Miner and the evidence of S. W. 
Dorsey. What else? Boone had not been seen at that 
time. John W. Dorsey was not here. Peck was not here. 
Peck or Miner had written the letter. Was there any 
conspiracy then ? Is there any evidence of it ? Is there 
enough to make a respectable suspicion even in the mind 
of jealousy? Does it amount even to a "Trifle light as 
air." 

Was it when Dorsey sent for Boone ? Boone says no. 
He ought to know. S. W. Dorsey says no. John W. 
Dorsey was not here. Miner had not arrived. The only 
suspicious thing up to that point is that Dorsey lived " in 
his house ; " that he received this letter " in his house," 
and that Boone visited him " in his house." That is all. 
Now, if there is a particle of evidence, I want the attorney 
for the Government who closes this case to point it out, 
and to be fair. Was it when Miner got here in December, 
1877? Miner says no. Boone says no. Stephen W. 
Dorsey says no. John W. Dorsey was not yet here. All 
the direct evidence says no. All the indirect evidence 
says nothing. Now, let us keep our old text in view. I 
want to ask you if there is a thing in all the evidence not 
consistent with innocence? Was it not consistent with 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 239 

innocence that Peck and Miner and John W. Dorsey should 
agree to bid ? Was it not consistent with innocence that 
John W. Dorsey met Peck at Oberlin, and that he met 
Miner in Sandusky ? Was not that consistent with 
innocence? Was it not consistent with innocence for 
Peck to write S. W. Dorsey a letter ? Was it not consistent 
with innocence for Dorsey to open it and read it and then 
send for Boone and give it to him ? Boone in the mean 
time proceeded to get information so that they could bid 
intelligently. Was that consistent with innocence ? Per 
fectly. More than that, it was inconsistent with guilt. 
What next ? May be this conspiracy was gotten up about 
the 1 6th of January, when John W. Dorsey came here. 
Dorsey says no ; Boone says no ; Miner says no ; and S. W. 
Dorsey says no. That is the direct evidence. Where is 
the indirect evidence ? There is none. Ah, but they say, 
don't you remember those Clendenning bonds ? Yes. Is 
there anything in the indictment about them ? No. Was 
any contract granted upon those bonds or proposals ? No. 
Was the Government ever defrauded out of a cent by 
them ? No. Is there any charge in this case relative to 
them ? No. Everybody says no. John W. Dorsey en 
tered into a partnership with A. E. Boone after he came 
here. Is that consistent with innocence? Yes. No 
doubt many of the jury have been in partnership with 
people. There is nothing wrong about that. He also 
entered into partnership with Miner and Peck. There 
were two firms, John W. Dorsey & Co., which meant A. E. 
Boone and John W. Dorsey, and Miner, Peck & Co., 
which meant Miner, Peck and John W. Dorsey. Is there 
anything criminal in that ? No. They had a right to bid. 
They had a right to form an association, a partnership. 
There was nothing more suspicious in that than there 
would have been in evidence of their eating and sleeping. 
Now, then, was this conspiracy entered into on August 7, 



240 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

1878, when Boone went out? Boone says no, and with 
charming frankness he says if there had been a conspiracy 
he would have staid. He said, " If I had even suspected 
one, I never would have gone out. If I had dreamed that 
they had a good thing, I should have staid in." He swears 
that at that time there was not any. Miner swears to it 
and S. W. Dorsey swears to it. Everybody swears to it 
except the counsel for the prosecution. Rerdell swears to 
it. That is the only suspicious thing about it. Now, at 
that time, August 7, when Boone went out, S. W. Dorsey 
was not here and John W. Dorsey was not here. Who 
was ? Miner. What was the trouble ? Brady told him, 
" I want you to put on that service. If you don't I will 
declare you a failing contractor." A little while before 
that Miner had met Dorsey in Saint Louis, and Dorsey 
had said, " This is the last money I will furnish. No 
matter whether I conspired or not, I am through. This 
magnificent conspiracy, silver-plated and gold-lined, I give 
up. There are millions in it, but I want no more. I am 
through." So Mr. Miner, using his power of attorney 
from John W. Dorsey and Peck, took in Mr. Vaile. 

I believe that Mr. Rerdell swears that the reason they 
took in Vaile was that they wanted a man close to Brady. 
According to the Government they had already conspired 
with Brady. They could not get much closer than that, 
could they? Miner was a co-conspirator, and yet they 
wanted somebody to introduce him to Brady. John W. 
Dorsey and S. W. Dorsey were in the same position. They 
were conspirators. The bargain was all made, signed, 
sealed, and delivered, and yet they went around hunting 
somebody that was close to Brady. Brady said, " I will 
declare you all failing contractors. I can't help it, though 
I have conspired with you. I give up all my millions. 
This service has got to be put on. The only way to stop 
it is for you to seek for a man that is close to me. You 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 241 

are not close enough." Now, absurdity may go further 
than that, but I doubt it. You must recollect that that 
contract was signed as of the i6th of August. You re 
member its terms. At that time not a cent had been paid 
to S. W. Dorsey. His Post-Office drafts had been cut out 
by the subcontracts. Afterwards he had a quarrel with 
Vaile. We will call it December, 1878. 

Was the conspiracy flagrant then ? Let us have some good 
judgment about this, gentlemen. You are to decide this 
question the same as you decide others, except that you are 
to take into consideration the gravity of the consequences 
flowing from the verdict. You must decide it with your facul 
ties all about you, with your intellectual eyes wide open, with 
out a bit of prejudice in your minds, and without a bit of 
fear. You must decide it like men. You must judge men as 
you know them. Was there a conspiracy between these de 
fendants in December, 1878, when S. W. Dorsey came back 
here and found out the security for his money was gone, and 
when he had the quarrel with Mr Vaile ? Is there the slight 
est scintilla of testimony to show that Mr. Vaile came into this 
business through any improper motive? I challenge the 
prosecution to point to one line of testimony that any reason 
able man can believe even tending to show that Mr. Vaile was 
actuated by an improper motive. I defy them to show a line 
tending to prove that John R. Miner was actuated by an im 
proper motive when he asked Vaile to assist him in this busi 
ness. I defy them to show that Brady was actuated by an 
improper motive when he told them, " You must put on that 
service or I will declare you all failing contractors." Was there 
a conspiracy then ? I ask you, Mr. Foreman, and I ask each 
of you, Was there a conspiracy at that time? Have the prose 
cution introduced one particle of testimony to show that there 
was ? In March was there a conspiracy ? Will you call divid 
ing, a conspiracy ? Will you call going apart, coming together? 
If you will, then there must have been a conspiracy in March. 
A conspiracy to do whai ? A conspiracy to separate ; a con- 



242 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

spiracy to have nothing in common from that day forward. 
Mr. Vaile entered into a conspiracy then that he would have 
no more business relations with S. W. Dorsey. He swears 
that at that time nothing on earth would have tempted him to 
go on. That is what they call being in a conspiring frame of 
mind. Not another step would he go. In March they sep 
arated, and each one went his way. It was finally fixed up, 
and finally settled in May. John W. Dorsey was out with his 
ten thousand dollars, and Peck was out with his ten thousand 
dollars. S. W. Dorsey, for the first time became the owner 
of thirty routes, or something more, and Miner and Vaile of 
the balance, I think about ninety-six. According to that 
contract of August 16, John W. Dorsey only had a third in 
terest in the routes he had with Boone, and not another cent. 
There was a division. If there was a conspiracy of such a 
magnitude, why should Boone go out of it? Why should 
John W. Dorsey sell out for ten thousand dollars ? Why should 
John W. Dorsey offer Boone one-third of it ? Why was Mr. 
A. W. Moore offered one-quarter of it? a gentleman who 
could be employed for one hundred and fifty dollars a month ? 
I ask you these questions, gentlemen. I ask you to answer 
them all in your own minds. Recollect, on the i6th of Au 
gust there was a conspiracy involving hundreds of thousands 
of dollars. In that conspiracy was the Second Assistant Post 
master-General. They had the Post-Office Department by the 
throat. They had the Postmaster- General blindfolded. Yet 
Miner went to Vaile and said, " Now, just furnish a little 
money to put on these routes and you may have forty per cent, 
of this conspiracy." He was giving him hundreds of thou 
sands of dollars. Is that the way people talk that conspire to 
gether? Would not Miner have gone to Brady and said, 
" Look here, what is the use of acting like a fool? What do 
you want me to give forty per cent, of this thing to Vaile for ? 
I had better give twenty per cent, more to you. That would 
allow me to keep twenty per cent, more too, and then there 
will be one less to keep the secret." He never thought of that. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 243 

I want you to think of these things, gentlemen, all of you, and 
see how they will strike your mind. What did they want of 
Boone ? S. W. Dorsey they say was the prime mover. He 
hatched this conspiracy. Miner, his own brother, Peck, and 
everybody else were simply his instruments, his tools. What 
did he want Boone for ? He had a magnificent conspiracy from 
which millions were to come. He told Boone, " I will give 
you a third of it." What for? He told Moore, "I will give 
you one-quarter." Seven-twelfths gone already. T. J. B. 
thirty-three and one-third per cent. That is about all. Then 
sixty-five per cent, more to the subcontractors. I want you 
to think about these things, gentlemen. If they had such a con 
spiracy what did they want of Mr. Moore ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Resuming.] Gentlemen, was it natural for 
S. W. Dorsey to get the money back that he had advanced, 
or some security for it ? Was that natural ? When a man seeks 
to have a debt secured is that a suspicious circumstance? That 
is all he did. He was out several thousand dollars. He wanted 
to secure that debt and he took another debt of twenty thou 
sand dollars upon him as a burden. If this had been a conspir 
acy he could have furnished this money that he had to pay to 
others to put the service on the route. I leave it to each one 
of you if that action to secure that debt was not perfectly 
natural. I will ask you another question. If he was the 
originator of the conspiracy would he have taken thirty per 
cent, burdened with a debt of twenty thousand dollars ? The 
way to find out whether there is sense in anything or not is to 
ask yourself questions. Put yourself in that place ; you, the 
master of the situation ; you, the author of the entire scheme. 
Would you take one-third of what you yourself had produced, 
and that third burdened with twenty thousand dollars worth of 
debt, and then make your debt out of the proceeds ? I want 
every one of you to ask yourself the question, because you 
have got to decide this case with your brains and with your 
intelligence ; not somebody else, but you, yourself. We want 
your verdict ; we want your individual opinion ; not some- 



244 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

body else's. There is the safety of the jury trial. We are to 
have the opinions of twelve men, and those opinions agreeing. 
Where twelve honest men agree, if they are also independent 
men, the rule is that the verdict is right. The opinion of an 
honest man is always valuable, if he is only honest, and if it is 
his opinion, it is valuable. It is valuable if he does not go to 
some mental second-hand store and buy cheap opinions from 
somebody else, or take cheap opinions. In this case I ask the 
individual opinion of each one of you. I want each one of 
you to pass upon this evidence ; I want each one of you to 
say whether if Dorsey had been the author and finisher of this 
conspiracy he would have taken thirty per cent., burdened 
with twenty thousand dollars of debt to others and fifteen 
thousand dollars of debt to himself? If you can answer that 
question in the affirmative you can do anything. After that 
nothing can be impossible to you, except a reasonable verdict. 
You cannot answer it that way. Why should he have cared 
so much about fifteen or sixteen thousand dollars with a con 
spiracy worth hundreds of thousands of dollars ? Why run 
the risk of making the whole conspiracy public ? Why run 
the risk of his detection and its destruction ? You cannot an 
swer it. Perhaps the prosecution can answer it. I hope they 
will try. 
Mr. Ker, on page 4493, makes a very important admission. 

After they (meaning the defendants) had these contracts, there was 
a combination, an agreement between all these people, that they were 
to do certain things in order to get at the public Treasury and get 
more money. 

What does that mean ? That means that this conspiracy 
was entered into after the defendants obtained the contracts, so 
that Mr. Ker fixes the birth of this conspiracy after these con 
tracts had been awarded to the defendants. That being so, 
all the bids, proposals, Clendenning letter, Haycock letter, 
proposals in blank, and bidders' names left out fade away. 

The Chico letter I will come to after awhile. I will not be 
as afraid of it as were the counsel for the prosecution. I will 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 245 

not, like the Levite, pass on by the other side of the Chico 
letter. I will not treat it as if it were a leper, as if it had a con 
tagious disease. When I get to it I will speak about it. All 
these things, then, under that admission, go for naught, and 
have nothing to do with the case, and consequently nobody 
need argue with regard to them any more, although incident 
ally I may allude to them again. There is no doubt, recollect, 
after this admission. There is no clause in the indictment say 
ing that we endeavored to defraud this Government by bids, 
by proposals, by bonds, or by contracts. Not a word. That 
is all out ; in my judgment it never should have been in the 
case at all. What is the next thing we did ? It is alleged that 
the moment Dorsey got these contracts he laid the foundation 
to defraud the Government by a new form of subcontract. Let 
me answer that fully, and let that put an end to it from this 
time on. Until May 17, 1878, the Post-Office Department 
did not recognize subcontractors. After these contracts came 
into the possession of these defendants Congress passed a law 
recognizing subcontractors. Consequently the contracts of the 
subcontractors that were to be recognized by the Government 
had to be somewhere near the same form as the contracts with 
the original contractors. The moment the contract of the sub 
contractor was to be recognized by the Government then it 
was necessary and proper to put a clause in that subcontract 
for expedition and a clause in that subcontract for increase of 
service. Why ? So that the Government should know, if the 
route was expedited, what percentage the subcontractor was 
entitled to. Instead of that clause in the subcontract being 
evidence that Mr. Dorsey was endeavoring to swindle the 
Government, the evidence is exactly the other way. It war 
put there for the purpose of protecting the subcontractor, so 
that if expedition was put upon the route the Government 
would know what per cent, of the expedition to pay the sub 
contractor. If that clause had not been in that subcontract the 
Government could not have told how much money to pay the 



246 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

subcontractor, and as a consequence the subcontract would 
have been worthless as security for the subcontractor. And 
yet a clause put in for the protection of the subcontractor is 
referred to in your presence as evidence that the man who 
suggested it was a thief and a robber. What more ? They 
say to these witnesses, ' ' Did you ever see such a clause as 
that in a subcontract before?" No. Why? The Govern 
ment never recognized a subcontractor before that time, and 
consequently there was no necessity for such a clause. Think 
how they have endeavored to torture every circumstance, no 
matter how honest, no matter how innocent, no matter how 
sensible ; how they have endeavored to twist it and turn it 
against these defendants. Gentlemen, whenever you start out 
on the ground that a man is guilty, everything looks like it. 
If you hate a neighbor and anything happens to your lot you 
say he did it. If your horse is poisoned he is the man who did 
it. If your fence is torn down he is the fellow. You will go to 
work and get all the little circumstances that have nothing to 
do with the matter braided and woven into one string. Every 
thing will be accounted for as coming from that enemy, and as 
something he has done. 

They say another thing : That we defrauded the Government 
by filing subcontracts. You cannot do it. When this case is 
being closed I want somebody to explain to the jury how it is 
possible for a man to defraud this Government by filing a sub 
contract. I do not claim to have much ingenuity. I claim 
I hat I have not enough to decide that question or to answer it. 
J can lay down the proposition that it is an absolute, infinite, 
eternal impossibility to fraudulently file a subcontract as against 
the Government. It cannot he done. Oh, but they say, the 
subcontractor did not take the oath. There is no law that he 
yhould take an oath and there never was. There may be at 
some time, but there is not now. The law that everybody 
engaged in carrying the mail and every salaried officer of the 
department shall take an oath was passed before the law of the 
/.yth of May, 1879, allowing a subcontractor to file his subcon- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 247 

tract. Before that time the Government had nothing to do 
with the subcontractor. If he actually carried the mail ; if he 
actually took possession of the mail, he had to take the oath 
of the carrier. But I defy these gentlemen to find in the law 
any oath for a subcontractor. There never was such an oath. 
If there is one, find it. The law that every salaried officer and 
every carrier of the mail shall take the oath was passed years and 
years and years before the law was passed allowing subcontracts 
to be filed. What of it ? Suppose a man who is a subcontractor 
carries the mail and does not take any oath. That is as good 
as to take the oath and not carry the mail. What possible 
evidence is it of fraud ? Suppose it should turn out that the 
carrier did not take the oath, but carried the mail honestly. 
What of it? Is it any evidence of fraud ? If a man tells the 
truth without being sworn, is that evidence that he is a dis 
honest man ? If a man carries the mail properly and in ac 
cordance with law without being sworn to do so, it seems to 
me that is evidence that he is an honest fellow, and you don't 
need to swear him. So when a subcontractor takes a subcon 
tract and carries the mail according to law it does not make 
any difference whether he swears to do so or not. Is there 
any evidence in this case that the subcontractors stole any 
letters on account of not having taken the oath ? When they 
answer, let them point to the law that the subcontractor is to 
take an oath. There is no such law and never was. 

Now, according to this admission of Mr. Ker, the conspiracy 
commenced after they got the contract. Very well. I need 
not talk about anything back of that. I do not know whether 
the admission is binding upon the Government or not. I be 
lieve the Court holds that the Government is not bound by the 
admission of any agent, and that the Government only author 
izes an agent to admit facts. May be he is mistaken. The 
Government only authorizes an agent to admit the law. At 
any rate Mr. Ker did the very best he knew how, and he says 
this conspiracy commenced when they got the contracts, and 
*o we need not go back of that unless the Government is now 



248 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

willing to say that Mr. Ker has made a mistake. I lay down 
the proposition, gentlemen, that you need not go back of the 
division of these routes. Then you must go forward. What 
was done after that ? Recollect the exact position of Senator 
Dorsey and the exact position of these other people. 

The next claim is, although there was no conspiracy 
until after they got the contracts, that Senator Dorsey was 
interested in these contracts while he was a Senator of the 
United States. If they could establish that fact it would 
not tend to establish a conspiracy. There is nothing in 
this indictment about it. I admit that if he were a 
Senator, and at the same time interested in mail contracts, 
he might be tried and his robes of office stripped from him, 
and that he could be rendered infamous. But that is not 
what he is being tried for. They say he was in the Senate, 
and he was anxious to keep it secret. Mr. Ker says he 
was so anxious to keep it secret that he sent all these 
communications out West in Senate envelopes, so they 
would think a Senator had something to do with it. Then 
it turned out that all the envelopes were in blank; just 
plain white envelopes, with nothing on them, and away 
went that theory. If he were in the Senate and engaged 
in these routes also, and wished to keep it a profound 
secret, because if known it would blast his reputation 
forever, do you think he would have had all these circulars 
sent out in Senate envelopes and on Senate paper ? If he 
did allow that to be done, it is absolutely conclusive evi 
dence that he was not interested. Suppose I was trying to 
keep it an absolute, profound, eternal, everlasting secret 
that I had anything to do with a certain matter, would I 
write letters about it ? Would I use paper that had my 
name, the number of my office, and the character of my 
business printed upon it ? Would I ? To ask that 
question is to answer it. Another thing : They claim that 
he was in the Senate and infinitely anxious to keep it 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 249 

a secret, and yet he found Mr. Moore, a perfect stranger, 
and said to him in effect : " Yes, Mr. Moore ; I don't know 
you, but I want you to know me. lama rascal. I am a 
member of the Senate, but I am engaged in mail routes. I 
hope you will not tell anybody, because it would destroy 
me. I have great confidence in you, because I don't know 
you." That is the only way he could have had confidence 
in Moore. He would have to have it the first time he saw 
him or it never would have come. To this perfect stranger 
he said, " Here, I am in the Senate, but I am interested in 
these routes. I am in a conspiracy. I want you to go 
out and attend to this business. I want you to do all 
these things, and the reason I tell you is because I am a 
Senator and I want it kept a profound secret. That is the 
reason I tell you." That is what these gentlemen call 
probable. That is their idea of reasonableness and of 
what is natural. That may be true in a world where 
water always runs up hill. It can never be true in this 
world. It is not in accordance with your experience. Not 
a man here has any experience in accordance with that 
testimony or that doctrine ; not one. You never will have 
unless you become insane. If this trial lasts much longer 
you may have that experience. It is a wonder to me it 
has not happened already. 

There is another queer circumstance connected with this 
case. While Dorsey told it all to Moore he kept it a pro 
found secret from Boone. Boone, you know, was in at the 
first. Boone got up all this information. Boone was in 
terested in these bids, and yet he never told Boone. He 
had known Boone, you see, for several weeks. He told 
Moore the first day, the first minute. He wished to relieve 
his stuffed bosom of that secret. Moore was the first 
empty thing he found, and he poured it into him. It is 
astonishing to me that he succeeded in keeping that secret 
from Boone, but he did. He even kept it from Rerdell. 



250 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Rerdell never heard of it a gentleman who picks up 
every scrap, who listens at the key-hole of an opportunity 
for the fragment of a sound. He never heard it. John 
W. Dorsey did not even know anything about it. Nobody 
but Moore. Now, I ask you, gentlemen, is there any 
sense in that story ? I ask you. I ask you, also, if the 
testimony of Stephen W. Dorsey with regard to that trans 
action is not absolutely consistent with itself ? Did he not 
in every one of those transactions act like a reasonable, 
sensible, good man ? Oh, but they say it is not natural for 
a man to help his brother; certainly it is not natural for a 
man to help his brother-in-law, and nobody but a hardened 
scoundrel would help a friend, and Dorsey is not that kind 
of a man. Occasionally in a case an accident will happen, 
and from an unexpected quarter a side-light will be thrown 
upon the character of a man, sometimes for good, and 
sometimes for evil. Sometimes a little circumstance will 
come out that will cover a man with infamy, something 
that nobody expected to prove, and that leaps out of the 
dark. Then, again, sometimes by a similar accident a man 
will be covered with glory. In this case there was a little 
fact that came to the surface about Stephen W. Dorsey that 
made me proud that I was defending him. Oh, he is not 
the man to help his brother; he is not the man to help his 
brother-in-law ; he is not the man to help a friend ; and 
yet, when Torrey was upon the stand, he was asked if he 
was working for Dorsey, and he said no, and was asked if 
Dorsey paid him at a certain time, or if he owed him, and 
he said no. He was asked why, and he replied, " Because 
only a little while before, when I was not working for him, 
and my boy was dead, he gave me a thousand dollars to 
put him beneath the sod." That is the kind of a man 
Stephen W. Dorsey is. I like such people. A man 
capable of doing that is capable of helping his brother, of 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 25! 

helping his brother-in-law, and of helping his friend. A 
man capable of doing that is capable of any great and 
splendid action. Is there any other man connected with 
this trial that ever did a more generous, nay, a more 
loving and lovely thing ? How such a man can excite the 
hatred of the prosecution is more than I can understand. 

Now, we have got to the division, and the question 
arises, was there a division? Let us see. On page 5009 
Mr. Bliss admits that Vaile, immediately upon Dorsey's 
coming out of the Senate, came here for the purpose of 
settling up this business ; that he made up his mind to 
have no more to do with Dorsey. Then Mr. Bliss makes 
this important admission, and I do not want any attorney 
for the Government to deny it. 

He admits that in May there was a final division, and that 
that division was to take effect as from the ist day of 
April, and that after that each party took the routes allot 
ted to him, and they became the uncontrolled property of 
that person, no other person having the right to interfere. 
There is your admission, just as broad as it can be made. 
Mr. Bliss, after having made that admission, which virtu 
ally gives up the Government's case, then threw a sheet- 
anchor to the windward and said, " But when they divided 
they made a bargain with each other that they would make 
the necessary papers." What for? To carry out the 
division. That is all. Now, the only corner-stone for this 
conspiracy, the only pebble left in the entire foundation is 
the agreement to make the necessary papers after the divi 
sion. That is all that is left. The rest has been dissolved 
or dug up and carted away by this admission. Let us see 
what that agreement was. Mr. Bliss turned to the evidence 
of John W. Dorsey, on page 4105: 

Q. At the time you sold out, was there any understanding about 
your making papers ? A. That was a part of the agreement. I was 
to sign all the necessary papers to carry on the business. 



252 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

When he sold out he agreed to sign all the necessary 
papers. It is like this: Mr. Bliss says on such a day, for 
instance, they divided. Suppose, instead of being routes 
it was all land. They divided the land and then they 
agreed to make the deeds. That was the conspiracy ; not 
in the land ; not in the agreement about the land ; not in 
the bargain, but in the execution of the papers in conse 
quence of the bargain. That was the conspiracy. They 
agreed to make all the necessary papers. That was the 
agreement. Then the Court asked John W. Dorsey a 
question. 

Q, You agreed to sign what? A. All the necessary papers to 
carry on the business. 

That is what he agreed to do. What else? What were 
those papers ? First, they were to sign all the subcontracts 
that were necessary, all the Post-Office drafts necessary, 
and they were to sign letters like this : 

The Post-Office Department, in regard to this route, will hereafter 
send all communications to the undersigned. 

In other words, the object was to let the person who fell 
heir to a given route in the division control that route. 
That was all. The man who was the contractor agreed that 
he would sign all the necessary papers. For what purpose ? 
To allow each man who got a route to be the owner of it 
and control it and draw the money. That is all. And yet 
it is considered rascality. 

Let me call your attention to another piece of evidence 
on this subject. On page 5016, Mr. Bliss is talking about 
all these papers and these letters that were written and 
apparently signed by Peck, but really signed by Miner, 
saying, " I want you to send all communications in refer 
ence to such a route to post-office box No. so and so, John 
M. Peck," sometimes with an M. under it and sometimes 
without. He did that in consideration of the agreement at 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 253 

the time he got the routes that had been originally allotted 
to Peck. Mr. Bliss brought here a vast number of these 
papers, and then he continued, on page 5017: 

All those, gentlemen, are orders, dated after the division, many of 
them coming away down into 1881, and all of them relating to routes 
with which Peck had no connection, because he severed his connec 
tion with all the routes prior to the ist of April, or as of the ist of 
April, 1879. John W. Dorsey tells you that he signed papers right 
along 

Of course he did. He agreed to 
and I have here a series of them. Many of them are orders not in 
blank. There are among the papers, orders signed in blank, but 
these are dated, and they are witnessed not always by the same per 
son as indicating that they got together and signed a lot of orders at 
the time of the division. There is every indication that the dates are 
correct. The witnesses are different at different times. 

The COURT. These same orders would have been made if the 
division had been perfectly honest. 

That is what I say. That is what we all say, gentlemen. 

If the transaction then had been perfectly honest the 
papers would have been precisely as they are. From the 
papers being precisely as they are, do they tend to show 
that the transaction was dishonest, when it is admitted by 
everybody and decided by the Court, that if the transaction 
had been perfectly honest the papers would have been just 
as they are? Recollect my text. Every fact when you 
are proving a circumstantial case has to point to the guilt 
of the defendants, and their guilt has to be found from all 
the facts in the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If there 
is one fact inconsistent with their guilt, the case is gone. 

There is another little admission to which I call your 
attention. Nothing delights me so much as to have the 
prosecution in a moment of forgetfulness, or we will say 
on purpose, admit a fact. Mr. Bliss said, on page 5018 : 

You will bear in mind that the division took place some eight 
months previous to that. 

That was January i, 1880. 



254 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

However that may be, these papers are all papers which on their 
faces might be innocent and fair and proper. They are papers which, 
under ordinary circumstances, might be executed to enable others 
than the contractor to draw the pay and to be riled with the depart 
ment, though it appears, I think, by the evidence in this case that no 
draft could be filed except shortly prior to the quarter as to which it 
applied. As to these papers all that we have to say is this : they are 
papers on their face apparently innocent, papers calculated to go 
through in the ordinary practice as though there was nothing wrong 
about them. At the same time the evidence shows that they were 
papers executed by these several parties at the time of or in pursu 
ance of the agreement of the division. 

I do not want anything better. That settles the papers. 
They were made at the time they agreed to make them. 
It was the only way in which they could give the party 
who got the route absolute control of the route. 

Now, gentlemen, apart from these papers, I believe they 
have three witnesses, at least they are called witnesses, in 
this case. The first witness that I will call your attention 
to, and who figures about as early as anybody, is A. W. 
Moore. I want to ask you a few questions about his 
testimony. I want you to understand exactly what he 
swears to and the circumstances. Let us see. 

He swears first that he had a conversation with Miner, in 
which he told Miner that he would work for him for one hun 
dred and fifty dollars a month and expenses, with permission 
to put on some of his own service, I think, in Oregon and 
California, and that Mr. Miner accepted his terms, and em 
ployed him as the agent of Miner, Peck Co. Recollect that, 
Miner, Peck & Co. Second, that Miner told him to report at 
Dorsey's house to get instructions. Miner at that time was 
staying at Dorsey's house. I do not know whether it was to 
get instructions from Dorsey or from the house, or from 
Miner. I take it, from Miner. No matter. Mr. Moore then 
swears that he reported to Dorsey and Dorsey asked him his 
opinion about the service. Moore had never been there and 
did not know one of the routes, but Dorsey was anxious for 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 255 

his opinion. How did he know any more about the service 
than Dorsey ? There is no evidence that Moore knew the 
price. There is no evidence that he knew the amount the 
Government was to pay on a single route. He was a stranger. 
Then he had another conversation with Dorsey in which Dor 
sey told him that they had bid on the long routes with slow- 
time, because that was the way to make money. Not satisfied 
with that, Mr. Dorsey showed him the subcontracts with the 
blanks and with the changes, and then he explained to him the 
descending scale, and he explained to him the percentage of 
expedition. He said Dorsey told him forty per cent, of the 
expedition. Boone swears it was sixty-five per cent. There 
is a little difference ; not much. Moore swears that he him 
self was to have twenty-five per cent, of the stealings. Let us 
see how that is. Boone swears that the subcontractor was to 
have sixty-five per cent. Rerdell swears that Brady was to 
have thirty-three and one-third per cent. That leaves one and 
two-third per cent, for the contractor. Do you see ? The sub 
contractor got sixty-five dollars out of one hundred dollars, and 
then Brady got thirty-three dollars and thirty-three and one- 
third cents. That makes ninety-eight dollars and thirty-three 
and one-third cents, leaving the contractor one dollar and 
sixty-six and two-third cents. That was all he got. Did 
you ever know of anybody on earth doing business at a 
smaller per cent, and paying for the trouble ? Now, Mr. 
Moore comes in with his statement. He says the subcon 
tractor got forty per cent, and then he himself got twenty- 
five per cent. That makes sixty-five. Then, according to 
Rerdell, Brady was to have thirty-three and one-third per 
cent. That makes ninety-eight and one-third. There 
is the most wonderful coincidence in this whole trial. 
Rerdell and Boone and Moore agree exactly that the con 
tractor gave up ninety-eight and one-third per cent, to 
others and took one and two-thirds himself. Did you ever 
know as much humanity in a conspiracy as that ? Did you 



256 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

ever know such a streak of benevolence to strike anybody ? 
It reminds me of a case of disinterested benevolence that 
happened in Southern Illinois. A young man there went 
to a lawyer and said to him, " I want to get a divorce, I was 
married at a time when I was drunk, and when I sobered 
up I didn't like the marriage. I want a divorce." The 
lawyer asked, " What do you want of a divorce ? " " Well," 
he said, " do you know the widow Thompson ? " " Yes." 
" She has been a widow there for about forty years. Do 
you know her boy ? He is the biggest thief in this county. 
He went over the Ohio River the other day and stole a set 
of harness and a mule." " What has that to do with this 
divorce case ? " " Well, he said, " I want to get a divorce 
and I want to marry that widow." " What for ? " "I want 
to get control of that boy and see if I can't break him from 
stealing. I have got some humanity in me." Here are 
S. W. Dorsey, his brother, his brother-in-law, Miner and 
Vaile starting a charity conspiracy, and out of every hun 
dred dollars that they steal they offer ninety-eight dollars and 
thirty-three cents upon the altar of disinterested friend 
ship. You are asked to believe that. You will not do it. 
Mr. Moore also swears that he received some money by 
a check, but he does not know whether the check was pay 
able to him or payable to Miner, and he got a power of 
attorney signed by Miner from John W. Dorsey and John 
M. Peck, and then he started, S. W. Dorsey assuring him 
in the meantime that he could tell the people out there that 
the service would be increased and expedited in a few days. 
Mr. Moore is a peculiar man. He says that that suited him 
exactly. He was willing to steal what little he could ; he 
was willing to steal for one hundred and fifty dollars a 
month if he couldn't get any more, or he was willing to 
steal for a part of the stealing. If he could not get that he 
would take an ordinary salary. I should think he was a 
good man from what he says. You heard him. They were 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 857 

wonderfully anxious to prove by Moore that Dorsey was 
the head and front of this whole business. That was the 
object, and so he swore as to the instructions. He said he 
was instructed to get up petitions so that they could be 
torn off and the names pasted on other petitions. He 
swore he carried out those instructions. He swore that 
Major agreed to do it, and I think a man by the name of 
Me Beau was going to do it. Yet, gentlemen, there never 
was such a petition gotten up. Major swore here that he 
never heard of it ; that he never dreamed of it, and never 
agreed to it ; that it was a lie ; that it was never suggested 
to him. Moore went out West and came back as far as 
Denver, and at Denver met John R. Miner, and then came 
here and saw Dorsey. What did he do with Dorsey ? He 
swears that he went to Stephen W. Dorsey and settled with 
him, and that Dorsey settled in a very generous and mag 
nanimous way, and did not want to look at his account, 
and did not want to look at the book ; had no anxiety or 
curiosity about the items. He just said, " How much is it ? " 
It happened to be even dollars two hundred and fifty dol 
lars. When a man goes out West and has hotel bills and 
all that sort of thing, when he comes to render his expense 
account it is always even dollars. Moore said two hun 
dred and fifty dollars. Dorsey gave it to him ; never looked 
at the book at all. Moore swears that he made that settle 
ment with Stephen W. Dorsey on the nth day of July, 
1878. Dorsey was then in the Senate. 

Look at page 1417. You see that Moore had been smart; 
that is what people call smart. You know it is never smart 
to tell a lie. Very few men have the brains to tell a good 
lie. It is an awfully awkward thing to deal with after you 
' have told it. You see it will not fit anything else except 
another lie that you make, and you have to start a factory 
in a short time to make lies enough to support that poor 
little bantling that you left on the door-step of your hon- 



258 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

csty. A man that is going to tell a lie should be ingenious 
and he should have an excellent memory. That man swore 
that he settled with Dorsey to the nth day of July, 1878; 
swore it for the purpose of convincing you that Dorsey em 
ployed him ; that Dorsey gave him instructions ; that Dor 
sey was the head and front of the conspiracy. I then 
handed him a little paper, and asked him, " Do you know 
anything about that ? Did you ever sign that ? " And here 
it is : 

Not July ii. That is the day he got the money of 
Dorsey. 

July 24, 1878. 

Received of Miner, Peck & Co., one hundred and sixty-six dollars, 
balance of salary and expenses in full to July n, 1878. 

A. W. MOORE. 

To when? To July 24? No, sir; he settled with Dor 
sey to July n, 1878. The gentlemen had forgotten that he 
gave that. If he had only had a little more brains he 
would have avoided the two hundred and fifty dollars, that 
even amount, and he would have said, " Dorsey did look 
over my books, and we had a little dispute about some 
items, and we just jumped at two hundred and fifty dol 
lars." But he swears that was the actual settlement, and 
then we bring in his receipt in writing, dated the 24th of 
July, 1878, saying that he received one hundred and sixty- 
six dollars that day, and that it was in full of his salary 
and expenses, not up to that date, but up to the nth of 
July, 1878. If his testimony is true, he stole that one 
hundred and sixty-six dollars. If his testimony is true, he 
settled with Dorsey in full for two hundred and fifty dol 
lars, and then he was mean enough to go and get one 
hundred and sixty-six dollars more for the same time. No, 
gentlemen, he was all right enough about it then ; he told 
the falsehood here. 

Now, what does Dorsey swear? Dorsey swears that he 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 259 

received an order from Miner to give this man two hun 
dred and fifty dollars. Miner swears that if Dorsey paid 
him anything it was on his, Miner's, request. That is a 
perfectly natural proceeding for Mr. Miner to request Dor 
sey to pay this man two hundred and fifty dollars. The 
man came to Dorsey 's house. Dorsey gave him two hun- 
(red and fifty dollars upon Miner's order. He was trusting 
John R. Miner for the money, and it was none of his 
business whether Miner owed it or not, and consequently he 
did not look at his book. Now, every fact is consistent 
with the truth of Mr. Dorsey's testimony ; the fact is con 
sistent with the truth of Miner's testimony ; and the 
receipt of this man given to Miner on the 24th of July, 
1878, demonstrates that he did not tell the truth, under 
oath, in this court before you. 

That is the end of Mr. Moore ; that is the end of him. 
You never need bother about him again as long as you live. 

Why, they say, " Why didn't you impeach him?" He 
impeached himself. " Why didn't you call so-and-so ? " 
Because we had that receipt ; that is why. No need of 
killing a man that is dead. You need not give poison to a 
corpse. When a thing is buried, let it go. When a man 
commits suicide, you need not murder him. When he de 
stroys his own testimony, let it alone ; it will not hurt you. 
I am not afraid of the testimony of Mr. Moore. If these 
gentlemen can galvanize it into the appearance of life, I 
should be very happy to see them do it. Everything that 
he swore upon this stand that in any way touched the de 
fendants is shown not to be true. 

Why should Dorsey have told him in 1878 to get up 
fraudulent petitions ? Even Rerdell does not swear that in 
1879 Dorsey instructed him to get up fraudulent petitions, 
and certainly he would go to the limit of the truth. After 
he made his story out of a piece of true cloth there would 
be very few scraps left. He would certainly go clear to the 



260 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

line. And yet, even he does not swear that when he went 
West to make contracts, to get up petitions, he was in 
structed by Mr. Dorsey to get up a fraudulent petition not 
once. And yet Moore swears that in 1878, when Dorsey 
was in the Senate, he told him to get up these fraudulent 
petitions. It will not do. 

Mr. Major swears that what he says about it is not true; 
Mr. McBean swears that what he says about it is not true ; 
and then we have Moore's own receipt showing that it is 
not true. 

On page 4757 Mr. Bliss says 

Moore stands before you, therefore, so far as all this testimony is 
concerned, wholly and absolutely uncontradicted. 

His testimony was that he was employed by Dorsey ; his 
testimony was that he was settled with by Dorsey, and the 
testimony of the receipt that he signed is that he settled 
with Miner and not with Dorsey ; the testimony of Miner 
is that he was settled with by Miner, and not with by Dor 
sey; the testimony of Dorsey is that he never had any 
conversation with him in the world except at the time he 
paid him the two hundred and fifty dollars. They say 
Rerdell was present at the conversation. Why did they 
not prove it by Rerdell after Dorsey had sworn to the con 
trary ? And yet Mr. Bliss tells you that he is not contra 
dicted " utterly uncontradicted." 

Mr. Ker, it seems, has an opinion of this same witness, I 
believe. He says, on page 4511 : 

He says he started out and went to work, as these records show, 
and made the subcontracts according to his instructions, and got up 
the petitions according to his instructions. 

He swears he did not get up a petition at all, not one ; he 
swears that he had not time. And yet these gentlemen 
say that he got up petitions according to his instructions, 
and he swears he did not. He swears he told Major to, 
and that Major signified his willingness to do it. Major 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 261 

swears that that is a falsehood. He swears the same with 
reference to McBean, and McBean swears that it is a false 
hood. Now Mr. Ker goes on : 

He fixed them up and changed the language a little in some, and in 
some he did not take the trouble to change, but he fixed them all so 
that there was a space between the writing and the names, so that 
they could be cut off and pasted on other papers. 

He expressly denies that he ever fixed a petition in the 
world. 

Mr. KER. What page ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. You ask the page! Talk to the jury 
seven days ! I say that this man never fixed up a petition, 
and he never says that he fixed up a petition. Where is 
the page on which he says it ? He was willing to do it, 
but he had not the time. I will show you that language. 
There is what they say about this man. Then he says he 
got a note from Miner, and went to Denver and met Miner. 
That is right. Then Miner offered him a quarter interest 
in the routes in this vast conspiracy. 

Let us find what Moore thinks of himself. We find that 
on page 1398. He is a good man, worthy of this case, ac 
cording to the eternal fitness of things. I come to this 
quicker than I thought I would. It is page 1396: 

Q. Did you get up any? A. No, sir ; I didn't have the time. 

There it is. Now, of course, Mr. Ker forgot. I call 
your attention to this to show how little weight such evi 
dence is entitled to in reference to a conversation five years 
ago, when Mr. Ker could not remember this with the book 
before him. 

Mr. KER. I asked you for the page on which Mr. 
McBean's testimony appears. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Mr. Moore is the witness. Mr. Moore 
swears that he never got up such a petition. Mr. Ker says 
he did. He and Mr. Ker will have to settle their own 
difficulty. 



262 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

On last Friday, in reply, I think, to a question of Mr. 
Ker, I stated that I thought McBean swore that Mr. 
Moore did not make any arrangement with him to get up 
false petitions. In that I was mistaken. Mr. Moore swore 
that he made an arrangement with McBean to get up 
petitions. He did not quite swear that McBean agreed to 
get up false and fraudulent petitions. He just came to 
the edge of it and did not quite swear to it. Afterwards 
McBean was recalled by the Government and the Govern 
ment did not ask McBean whether he had ever agreed to 
get up any petitions or whether he had ever made any 
such arrangement with Moore. They did not ask him and 
we did not ask him. I do not know why they did not ask 
him. They probably know. 

I also stated that Moore swore that he got his instruc 
tions about these petitions from Dorsey. The evidence is 
that he got his instructions not from Dorsey but from 
Miner ; that Miner so instructed him, and that thereupon 
he made the bargain to get up such petitions with a man 
by the name of Major on the Redding and Alturas route. 
I make this correction because I do not want you or any 
one else to think that I wish any misstatement made in our 
favor. We do not need it and consequeutly there is no need 
of making it. You will remember that after Moore swore 
that he made a bargain with Major to get up false peti 
tions, Major swore that it was untrue. You will also re 
member that Judge Carpenter called for the petitions that 
were gotten up upon the routes that Moore had something 
to do with, and I think he showed you on one route eleven 
or twelve petitions. Mr. Major swears that every petition 
was honest, that the statements in each petition were true, 
and that the signatures were genuine. All those petitions 
were shown to you. So that the result of the Moore 
testimony is this : Moore swears that Miner told him to 
get up such petitions. He then swears that he made that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 263 

bargain with Major. Major says it is not true. Moore 
almost swears that he made the same bargain with McBean. 
McBean says nothing on the subject. Then we bring here 
the petitions upon those very routes, and especially upon 
the Redding and Alturas route, and we find no such peti 
tions as are described by Moore. That is enough in re 
gard to Mr. Moore upon that one point. 

There is one little piece of testimony to which I failed 
to call your attention on Friday, and to which I will 
call your attention now. Moore was the friend of Boone. 
Boone recommended him to Miner. It was through Boone 
that Moore was employed. Now, I ask you if it is not 
wonderful that Moore never told Boone that there was a 
conspiracy on foot ? Is it not wonderful that Moore did 
not tell Boone, his friend, the man to whom he was in 
debted for the employment, " There is a conspiracy in this 
case. Senator Dorsey as good as told me so. I know all 
about it." 

The fact is he never said one word, and the reason 
we know it, is that Boone swears that when he went 
out on the 7th or 8th of August he never even sus 
pected it. I cannot, it seems to me, make this point too 
plain. Boone had been known by Dorsey for a long time. 
They were very good friends. Dorsey had enough con 
fidence in him to select him as the man to get the neces 
sary information after he had been requested so to do in 
the letter. Boone was the man who attended to this busi 
ness more than anybody else. Boone was interested with 
John W. Dorsey. Boone had every reason to find out 
exactly what was happening. He was at Dorsey's house, 
where Miner was. He talked with Miner day after day. 
He helped get up the bids. He did a great deal of 
mechanical work. He had the subcontracts printed. Yet 
during all that time Dorsey never let fall a chance expres 
sion that gave Boone even the dimmest dawn of a hint 



264 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that there was a conspiracy. Nobody told Boone. Moore, 
his friend, never spoke of it. 

Now, there is one other point with regard to Mr. Moore. 
Mr. Moore swears, on page 1371, that Miner offered him a 
fourth interest in these routes. That was the conversation 
in which he said Mr. Miner told him they were good affi 
davit men. According to Moore's testimony he then knew 
there was a conspiracy, and he understood that he was 
part and parcel of it. Let me ask you right here, is it 
probable that Moore would have been offered a quarter 
interest at that time if a conspiracy existed, and if they 
had their plans laid to make hundreds of thousands of 
dollars, and if the profits had depended upon the affidavits 
alone? I ask you, as sensible, reasonable men, if he 
would have been offered a quarter interest under those 
circumstances? Now conies in what I believe to be the 
falsehood. Mr. Moore says that the interest was offered 
to him by Miner, but Miner said it would have to be 
ratified by Stephen W. Dorsey. That is brought in for the 
purpose of having some evidence against Dorsey. You 
must recollect, gentlemen, that this evidence was all pur 
chased. This evidence was all bargained for in the open 
shamble. You must recollect that there are upon the 
records of this court some seven or ten indictments against 
A. E. Boone. You must remember that Moore was Boone's 
friend. You must remember that Moore was a part of the 
consideration that Boone was giving to the Government 
for immunity. 

Mr. MERKICK. Is there any proof of that? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I think there is. Mr. Moore swears as 
to the number of indictments against Boone. He was his 
friend. The jury have a right to infer what motive 
prompts a witness. Moore wished to swear enough, so 
that Mr. Boone would not be troubled. In my judgment, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 265 

Mr, Boone, being under indictment, gave evidence in this 
case in order that the Government would take its clutch 
from his throat. He swore under pressure. That is the 
system, gentlemen, that is dangerous in any country. 
Whenever a Government advertises for witnesses ; when 
ever a Government says to a guilty man, or to a man who 
is indicted, "All we ask of you is to help us convict some 
body else ; " whenever they advertise for a villain, they 
get him. That is the result of what they call the informer 
system an infamous system. A court of justice, where 
justice is done between man and man, is the holiest place 
on earth. The informer system turns it into a den, into a 
cavern, into a dungeon, where crawl the slimy monsters of 
perjury and treachery. That is the informer system. It 
makes a court a den of wild beasts. What else does it do? 
Under its brood and hatch come spies ; spies to watch wit 
nesses, spies to watch counsel, spies to follow jurymen, so 
that a juror cannot leave his house without the shadow of 
the spy falling upon his door-step. That is not the proper 
attitude of a Government. The business of a Government 
is to protect its citizens, not to spread nets. The business 
of a Government is to throw its shield of power in front of 
the rights of every citizen. I hold in utter, infinite, and 
absolute contempt any Government that calls for informers 
and spies. Every trial should be in the free air. All the 
work should be done openly. These sinister motions in 
the dark, the crawling of these abnrrmal and slimy things, 
I abhor. 

Now, to come back to Moore. Upon my word I think 
he was trying to help his friend. After Mr. Miner had 
offered him a quarter interest, then he came back to Wash 
ington. He arrived here, according to his evidence, about 
the nth day of July, I think. He went immediately to 
see Stephen W. Dorsey. Recollect that. That was the 



266 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

time Dorsey settled with him without looking at his books. 
After he settled with him and gave him two hundred and 
fifty dollars he asked him to telegraph to see if the service 
had been put on The Dalles and Baker City route. He 
waited here until he received an answer, and after that he 
talked with Dorsey not only about that matter, but in that 
conversation Dorsey said, according to Moore, that it took 
a good deal of money to keep up their influence in the de 
partment. When I asked him when that conversation 
was, he said two or three days after the first conversation. 
According to the evidence in "this case Stephen W. Dorsey 
left this city on the i2th of July. This man Moore ar 
rived on the nth, and he says two or three days after his 
arrival Dorsey said it took money to keep up their influ 
ence here. When he swears that Dorsey told him that, 
Dorsey was in the city of Oberlin, Ohio. Recollect these 
things. Whoever tells stories of this character should 
have a most excellent memory. 

Now, there is another thing. When did Miner get back ? 
He got back by the 24th of July, because on the 24th of 
July he settled with Moore, and I believe then Moore went 
West again. Now, remember there was a contract made, 
as Moore swears. He has not got it. Nobody sees it. 
He says there was a contract made by which he had a 
fourth interest in something. He got back here I believe 
some time in November, and on the 2Oth of November he 
and Miner settled. I will now look on page 1430 for that 
settlement I want you to see how everything was situ 
ated at that time. 

I find on page 1430 that Mr. Miner settled for everybody 
with Mr. A. W. Moore. Remember the situation. Moore 
knew there was a conspiracy. All the service was on. You 
see, this was November 20, 1880. Vaile was in. They had 
a man who was close to Brady. Everything was running 
in magnificent style. Mr. Moore understood that there was 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 267 

a conspiracy. What more did he understand ? That he had 
the claw of his avarice in the flesh of a United States 
Senator and in the flesh of a Second Assistant Postmaster- 
General. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were to be 
made. He came back here and settled up and sold out his 
interest for how much ? Six hundred and eighty-two dol 
lars. Do you believe that ? Credulity would not believe 
it. Nobody believes it, that is if the rest of the story is 
true. Why did he settle with him for so little ? He said 
Mr. Miner told him he hadn't a dollar. He did not reply 
to him, " When this conspiracy is completed you will have 
plenty. I can wait." No. Miner said he hadn't any 
thing and so Moore settled for six hundred and eighty- 
two dollars. Then I asked him, " You had a contract with 
Dorsey, did you ? " " Yes ; verbally." " Did you ever say 
anything to Dorsey about it ? " " No." " Did you ever claim 
anything from Dorsey?" "No." " Did you ever write to 
him ? " " No." " Did you ever say anything to anybody 
that you had any claim against Dorsey ? " " No." You 
saw Mr. Moore, gentlemen, here upon the stand. Do you 
think he is the kind of man who would let such a chance 
slip ? It is for you to judge. In my judgment that is the 
eternal end of Moore's testimony. We can call him buried. 
We can put the sod over his grave. We can raise a stone 
to the memory of A. W. Moore. Let him rest in peace, or 
to use the initials only, let him R. I. P. That is the end of 
him. If the Government wishes to dig up the corpse here 
after let them dig. 

Mr. KER. I would like 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] I don't want to hear 
from you. 

The COURT. You do not know what he is going to say. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. He may be intending to make a motion 
that the jury be instructed to find a verdict of not 
guilty. 



268 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Mr. KER. As Mr. Merrick will have to answer, he sim 
ply wants to know the page. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. If Mr. Merrick wants to know the page 
he shall have the page, or anybody that wishes to answer. 
If counsel had simply asked me for the page, without 
getting up in such a solemn manner, I would have told 
him. 

On page 1406, Mr. Moore says that he went to Dorsey 
and got the money, and that then Dorsey requested him to 
telegraph to The Dalles, and that he did not see Dorsey 
after he got the answer to his dispatch, I think, for two or 
three days. He reached Washington, he says, about the 
nth. On page 1372, he speaks of telegraphing to The 
Dalles by instructions from Dorsey. 

Now, gentlemen, I am going to call your attention for a 
little while to another witness, Mr. Rerdell. And in the 
commencement, I need not refresh your minds with regard 
to the part he has played. I need not, in the first instance, 
tell you about his affidavit of June, 1881, nor his affidavit of 
July 13, 1882, nor his pencil memorandum, nor his Chico 
letter, nor his offer to pack the jury on behalf of the Gov 
ernment, nor the signals he had agreed upon, nor the re 
ports he made from day to day, nor the affidavit of Septem 
ber that he made for the Government, nor of November 
nor of February. All these things you remember and re 
member perfectly. I will speak of them as I reach them, 
but I want you to keep in your minds who he is. 

I need not call any names. Epithets would glance from 
his reputation like bird-shot from the turret of a monitor. 
The worst thing I can say about him is to call him Mr. 
Rerdell. All epithets become meaningless in comparison. 
The worst thing I can say after that would have the taint 
of flattery in it. You will remember when Enobarbus was 
speaking to Agrippa about Caesar, he says, " Would you 
praise Caesar, say Caesar. Go no further." And I can say, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 269 

" If you wish to abuse this witness, say Mr. Rerdell. Go 
no further." That is as far as I shall go. 

You will remember that Mr. Rerdell was in the employ 
of Stephen W. Dorsey, and had been for several years. He 
does not pretend that he was ever badly used ; he does not 
say before you that Mr. Dorsey ever did to him an unkind 
act, ever said an unkind word. In all the record of the 
years that he was with him he finds no page blotted with 
an unjust act, not one. He has no complaint to make. 
Under those circumstances he voluntarily goes to see a 
man by the name of Clayton, I think an ex-Senator from 
Arkansas, known to him at that time to be an enemy of 
Stephen W. Dorsey, an enemy of his employer, an enemy of 
his friend his friend, whose bread this witness had eaten 
for years, whose roof had protected him, who had trusted 
and treated him like a human being. Yet he goes to this 
man Clayton, and he says, in substance, " I want to sell out 
my friend to the Government." He was not actuated ex 
actly by patriotism, although he says he was. The prompt 
ings of virtue may have started him, but after he got started 
he said to himself, " I do not see that it hurts virtue to be 
rewarded." So he said, " I want some pay for this; I want 
a steamboat route reinstated ; I want the Jennings claim 
allowed. Of course I am disinterested in what I am doing, 
but I might as well have something, if it is going." " What 
else do you want?" The disinterested patriot suggested 
that he would like to have a clerkship for his father-in-law. 
"Anything else?" If you will read his letter of July 5, 
1882, which I will read to you before I get through, you 
will see that he says, " If I had remained with the Govern 
ment I have every reason to believe I would have had a 
good position by this time." So he must have demanded a 
clerkship for himself good, honest man. At that time he 
did not know, but swore it afterwards and swore it here 
upon the stand, that Dorsey had never done anything 



270 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

wrong ; and yet he was willing to sell him to the Govern 
ment, believing that he had never done anything wrong. 
So he went and saw the Postmaster-General. The Post 
master-General did not appear to take any great interest in 
the matter. He turned him over to the Attorney-General. 
He showed the Postmaster-General what he had, and read 
him, I believe, or showed him some memoranda. Then he 
went and saw the Attorney-General. The Postmaster- 
General did not seem to give him encouragement. Then 
when he went to see MacVeagh he took with him a letter- 
book I do not know but more than one but we will say 
a letter-book. Now, what was in that letter-book ? And, 
gentlemen, the only way to find whether a man tells the 
truth is to take all the circumstances into consideration. 
What did he want to do ? What was his object ? And what 
were the means at his command ? For instance, it is said 
that a man left his house with the intention of murdering 
another, and that he had on his table a loaded revolver, 
and also had on his table a small walking-stick, and he took 
with him the walking-stick. You would say he did not 
intend to commit the murder ; that if he had so intended 
he would have taken the deadly weapon. In other words, 
you must believe that men, acting for the accomplishment 
of a certain object, use the natural means within their 
power. 

Now, what did he have in that letter-book ? He swears 
now that in that letter-book there was a copy of a letter 
from Stephen W. Dorsey to James W. Hosier ; that the 
original letter was written by Stephen W. Dorsey. That 
press-copy, of course, would show that the original letter 
was in the handwriting of S. W. Dorsey. What does he 
swear was in that letter ? He swears that Dorsey made a 
proposition to Bosler to go into the business ; told him the 
profits, and told him that he had to give thirty-three and 
one-third per cent, to T. J. B. ; that he had already paid 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 271 

him, I think, twenty thousand dollars, and had more to pay 
him. According to the testimony of Mr. Rerdell, that was 
in the letter-book that he took to Mr. MacVeagh. Now, 
recollect that. Why did he not show it ? He had forgotten 
it. He showed him what he had. Recollect now, that he 
had a tabular statement. I think the letter showed so 
much money to T. J. B., and the tabular statement thirty- 
three and one-third per cent, to T. J. B. He had that 
tabular statement, and that was in Dorsey's handwriting. 
He says he had it. Well, after that, the Attorney-General 
must have told him, " That is not enough ; I want some 
more." " Well," he says, " I can let you have some more." 
" What more can you let us have ? " Well, then he told 
him about the red books ; I do not know that he said they 
were red, but he told him about the books and that those 
books were in New York, and he would go over there and 
get them ; that he was going to steal them ; he says he 
went over to get them, and afterwards admitted, I believe 
that he was stealing them. 

Now, we must remember the position Rerdell was in. 
He had been to Clayton, to the Postmaster-General in com 
pany with Mr. Woodward, and to the Attorney-General in 
company with Mr. Woodward, and yet there was not 
enough. Well, it was all he had. What more could he 
do? He suddenly found himself caught in his own trap. 
He had funished enough to trouble him, but not enough to 
convict Dorsey, and not enough to be promised immunity. 
Now, what had he to do? He did exactly as he did with 
Mr. Woodward in September, when he made that affidavit, 
and when Woodward said it was not enough ; he said, 
"Very well, I will make another," the same as he did when 
he made the affidavit of seventy pages in November and 
found it was a little weak. He made another, and he would 
have made them right along. He had a factory running 
night and day. Now, he tells you that while he was talk- 



272 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

ing with MacVeagh, just towards the last of the conversa 
tion, the idea flashed into his brain that he might save 
Dorsey too. Don't you remember that testimony? And 
as quick as he thought of that, he agreed to go to New 
York and steal the books. The very last thing that Mac 
Veagh said to him, according to MacVeagh's testimony, 
and I believe according to his own, was to be sure and get 
the books ; that they were all important. So he went, as 
he claims. Now, did it occur to him that he would save 
Dorsey in that way ? Did he think of saving Dorsey by 
going and getting these books? That was the last thing, 
and he was going to get the books to be used as evidence 
against Dorsey. 

In a few days he says he started for New York, and the 
question arises, why did Rerdell go to New York at all ? 
Why did he want to see that the books were in New York ? 
Why did he pretend that he had any more evidence unless 
he had it ? You see you have got to get at the philosophy 
of this man; you have got to find what actuated him; and 
although in many respects he is abnormal, unnatural, 
monstrous, and morally deformed, still it may be that we 
can find the philosophy upon which he acted. Why did 
he say he was going to New York? Because the Attorney- 
General told him he must have told him that the evi 
dence he then had was not sufficient. Rerdell could not 
break down right there and say, "That is all I have got." 
That would give up the fight ; that would tell him that he 
had endeavored to sell out his friend and nobody would 
buy the evidence ; that would tell him that he had tried 
this and had failed ; that he had simply succeeded in show 
ing his own treachery without involving his friend. He 
could not stop there. You must recollect the evidence he 
had, and the evidence he wanted. 

Let us see what he had. Mr. Bliss says, " Why did he 
say the books were in New York? Why did he not say 
they were in Washington ? " That would not have given 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 273 

him time, gentlemen. He would have been told, " Go and 
get them." Then he could not have produced them. Con 
sequently he put them in the possession of somebody else, 
so that if he failed to get them, then he could say that the 
other man destroyed them or had hid them ; he could have 
said, "I have done my best; they did exist, but they have 
been destroyed, or they have been hidden, or they have 
been put out of the way." He wanted time, and knowing 
that no such books existed, he could not say, " I have them 
in Washington," because then he could give no excuse for 
their non-production. He must state it in such a way that 
he could reasonably fail ; that is to say, that he could give 
a reason for his failure. He could not say, " I have them 
in my house," because he would have been told to go and 
get them. So he put them in the possession of another 
man, so that, failing to get them, as fail he must, he could 
give a reasonable excuse for the failure. 

Why did he go to New York? I will tell you what my 
philosophy is : He found that the Government did not wish 
to purchase the evidence that he had. He found that, in 
the judgment of the expert of the Department of Justice, it 
was not sufficient. The next thing was to retrace his 
steps. He did not want to jump off of one boat into the 
sea and find no other boat to rescue him. He said : " I have 
been too hasty; I will go to New York." Why? To find 
out whether Dorsey had heard of this or not. That is what 
he went there for. The inferior man always imagines that 
the superior knows what he is doing, and knows what he 
has done. He found that he was about to fail with tbe 
Government, and then the important question to him v^ : 
Has Dorsey found this out ? Can I go back to Dorsey ? Or 
must I go on and be cast away by him and be refused by 
the Government ? 

Now let me call another thing to your minds. I will 
come to it again, but it forces itself upon me at this place, 
and it seems to me it ought to be absolutely conclusive 



274 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

He swears that on the day after he went to MacVeagh with 
that letter-book, in looking it over he found the press-copy 
of the original letter that Dorsey wrote to Bosler on the 
i3th of July, 1879. ^ e sa y s th at ^ e next day he found 
that copy in that copy-book. Why did he not steal the 
book? Conscientious scruples, gentlemen! You see he 
was going to New York to steal another. Why not steal 
one that he already had possession of ? And how much 
better that book would have been than the other that he 
was going to get. This was a copy of a letter in Dorsey's 
handwriting, in which he admitted that he had paid twenty 
thousand dollars to T. J. B., and was going to pay him 
some more, while that book in New York was not in Dor 
sey's handwriting admitting, for the sake of the argument, 
that there was a book but was in the handwriting of 
Donnelly or Rerdell. See? And right there he had the 
evidence, absolutely conclusive, in the handwriting of S. 
W. Dorsey himself, and he did not even keep it, he did not 
even steal it, but he gave it back and went to New York to 
steal a book that Dorsey did not write. He threw away 
primary evidence to get secondary evidence. He threw 
away that which would have convicted Dorsey beyond a 
doubt, which would have made him a welcome recruit to 
the Government. He threw that away and went to New 
York to get another, a line of which Dorsey never wrote ; 
and then he would have to establish, after he got that book, 
that "William Smith" stood for Thomas J. Brady; he 
would have to prove after they got that book that " John 
Smith " or " Samuel Jones" stood for Turner. Now, gen 
tlemen, do you believe that that man, with his ideas of 
honor, with the kind of a conscience he has in his bosom, 
with the copy of a letter in Dorsey's handwriting in his 
possession admitting that Dorsey gave twenty thousand 
dollars to T. J. B., would give that up and then go to the city 
of New York to steal a book not in Dorsey's handwriting, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 275 

and that did not prove that Dorsey had ever paid a cent to 
Thomas J. Brady, in which there was one charge to " Will 
iam Smith," and that would have to be eked out by the 
testimony of Rerdell himself, when he had right there in 
his own grasp and clutch the press-copy of the original 
letter written by Dorsey himself? Do you believe it? 
There is not a man on that jury believes it ; there is not a 
lawyer prosecuting this case who believes it. 

What else did he have ? He had a letter that he himself, 
as he claims, wrote to Bosler.on the 22d of May, 1880, 
after he, Rerdell, had been summoned to appear before a 
committee of Congress. He had, he says, those three 
sheets. 

What else did he have the morning after he was talking 
with MacVeagh? He had the tabular statement in the 
handwriting of Stephen W. Dorsey, and over the Brady 
column, " T. J. B., thirty-three and one-third per cent." 

What more did that man have ? He had the balance- 
sheets made out, as he swears, by Donnelly, of those 
books. Were the balance-sheets just as good as the books ? 

Now, just think what he had, according to his own testi 
mony : A copy of the original letter, written by Dorsey to 
Bosler, in which he admitted his guilt ; a copy of the 
tabular statement, written by Dorsey, in which he put 
down thirty -three and one-third per cent, to T. J. B. What 
more ? Copy of the letter that he had written to Bosler on 
the 22d of May, 1880. He had all that, and he must have 
had this memorandum, though I will show you that he 
had not, and I think I will show you when he made it. 
And yet he was going to New York to get some more 
evidence. He was going to steal another book in New 
York that would simply create a suspicion, while he gave 
up a book that was absolute certainty. That is the theory. 
But they say, " Oh, he did not do that quite." What did 
he do ? He went and had that copied. He swears that he 



276 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 



had copied that letter of May 13, 1879, ^at Dorsey wrote 
to Bosler, in which he admitted that he gave twenty thou 
sand dollars to Brady. Now, a copy would not show in 
whose handwriting the press-copy was, would it ? That is 
a very important point. Who copied it ? I think he said 
Miss Nettie L. White copied it. We never hear of Miss 
Nettie L. White again, though. These gentlemen admit 
that you are not to believe Mr. Rerdell on any point that 
is not corroborated, and when he swears that Miss Nettie 
L. White copied the letter you are not bound to believe 
there was such a letter unless they bring Miss White or 
account for her absence. They did not bring her. That 
is an extremely important point in their case, infinitely 
more important than whether the red books ever existed. 
Did Dorsey write a letter to Bosler in which he admitted 
his guilt? This man says that he had complete and per 
fect evidence of it in his own hand; that he gave that up ; 
that he had that copied by Miss White. And they did not 
bring Miss White. Certainly he had no scruples about 
tearing it out. He says he tore out his letter to Bosler of 
the 22d of May, 1880. He had no scruples about that. 
He did not refuse to keep the book because it touched his 
honor, because in a day or two he was going to steal an 
other not half as good as that one, not one-tenth part as 
good. Just think. He gave up evidence that was absolute 
and complete, and went to steal evidence that was second 
ary and of the poorest character. You do not believe it. 
He would have kept that book if he had kept any. If he 
was going to steal any evidence, and had the best, he 
would have kept it. The trouble was that there was no 
such letter in that book. There was his letter of May 22, 
1880; no doubt about that; and that man tore it out, and 
then he made up one in his own mind, and had it of that 
date ; that is all. 

So he went to New York, and he swears that he went 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 277 

right up to the Albemarle Hotel ; that it was early in the 
morning ; that Dorsey was not then up ; and that he had a 
conversation with Dorsey, in which Dorsey charged him 
with having had something to do with the Government, 
with having gone over to the Government. Dorsey had 
heard that there was something going on about that time, 
and I suppose he asked Mr. Rerdell about it. Rerdell 
denied it ; said there was no truth in it ; that nothing of 
the kind, character, or sort had ever happened. 

Now let us just see whether I can demonstrate to you 
that Rerdell, in the conversation he had with Dorsey at the 
Albemarle Hotel, denied that he had gone over to the 
Government, or that he had done anything that was not 
perfectly honest, straightforward, and upright. I refer to 
it now, although I may come to it again. 

And, gentlemen, I am sorry for you ; I pity every one of 
you, that you have to hear all that has to be said in this 
case. But you must put yourselves, for the moment, in 
our places. You must remember that these defendants 
have borne this agony, have been roofed and surrounded 
with disorder for two years. You must remember that the 
agents of the Government have pursued them, they have 
watched over them and spied them night and day. You 
must remember that they have been slandered for years 
in the public press, although the tone of the public press 
is now changing, and changing in such a marked degree 
that one of the attorneys here for the prosecution claimed 
that we had bought up the correspondents. When you 
take into consideration what my clients have suffered, th 
position they are now in, fighting this great and powerfu 
Government, I know you will excuse us for inflicting upon 
you every thought and every argument that we think may 
be for our defence. 

I am doing for my clients what I would do for you, 
or any of you, if you were defendants, and I am doing for 



278 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

them what I would want them to do for me were I a de 
fendant and they my counsel. 

Now I am going to demonstrate this. When Mr. Rer- 
dell got to Jersey City he telegraphed back, according to 
the evidence of Mr. Dorsey : 

Up to this moment I have been faithful to every trust. 

I believe Rerdell swears that he did not send that. He 
had a memorandum-book which he took out of his pocket. 
I think a leaf was torn from it, and he ran his pencil 
through this line on the page on which he had taken a 
copy of this dispatch, " Up to this moment I have been 
faithful to every trust," and says he did not send it. Why 
did he put his pencil through that? Because that line 
would not agree with the testimony he had given upon the 
stand. " Up to this moment I have been faithful to every 
trust " was in that dispatch. I want to ask you if you 
believe that Rerdell could have sent that dispatch to a man 
to whom he had admitted that very morning that he had 
gone over to the Government ? Do you believe it ? How 
perfectly natural it would have been for him to send a 
dispatch from Jersey City that harmonized and accorded 
with his denial of that morning. 

Just look at that [handing the paper to the foreman of 
the jury.] Just read it. I want the jury to look at it. 
He rubbed it out of his memorandum-book. When ? At 
the time ? No, sir ; when he found that he wanted some 
thing to harmonize with his evidence here. Even he 
had not the brazen effrontery to swear that he had told 
Dorsey that very morning that he (Rerdell) had gone 
over to the Government, and then that very afternoon 
to telegraph him 

Up to this moment I have been faithful to every trust. 

Why, in comparison with that cheek brass is a liquid. 

What is the next sentence ? 

The affidavit story is a lie. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 279 

Why did he leave that in? Because technically that 
was true. He had not then made an affidavit, and there is 
nothing so pleases a man who has made up his mind to 
tell a lie as to have mixed with the mortar of that lie one 
hair of truth. It is delightful to smell the perfume of a 
fact in the hell-broth of his perjury. Just look at that. 
These two things show that he had not admitted to Dorsey 
that he had told the Government anything against Dorsey. 
He wanted Dorsey to understand that he, Rerdell, had not 
communicated with the Government. Now, if you admit 
his evidence to be true, at the time he sent that dispatch 
he had the stolen book under his arm, and you, gentlemen 
of the jury, are asked to believe a man who would do that 
thing. I would not. I would not convict the meanest, 
lowest wretch that ever crawled between heaven and earth 
upon such testimony. Never. Neither can you do it. 
A verdict must rest upon a fact. The fact must rest upon 
the testimony of a witness. That witness must be, or 
seem to be, an honest man. And unless a verdict is based 
upon the bed-rock of honesty, it is infinitely rotten, and 
the jury that will give a verdict not based upon honesty 
is corrupt. 

Mr CRANE (foreman of the jury.) I notice that this dis 
patch seems to have been written with different pencils at 
different times. 

Mr INGERSOLL 

Up to this moment I have been faithful to every trust- 
Is written very dimly. 

The affidavit story is a lie, but confidence between us is gone 

Is in still a different hand. 

I resign my position and will turn everything over to any one you 
designate 

Is still another hand. Three hands, three pencils, in the 
one memorandum. These papers have been manufactured, 
and when the Government said, " This is not enough," 
another paragraph has been added. 



28O CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

How hard it is to perpetrate a piece of rascality and 
do it well. There are an infinite number of things in 
this universe, and everything that is in it is related to 
everything else ; and when you get a falsehood in it that 
does not belong to the family, it has not the family like 
ness ; and when anybody sees it who is acquainted with 
the family, he says, " That is an adopted young one." 

Mr. Rerdell now says, I believe, that he did not send 
that line, " Up to this moment," &c. Dorsey swears that 
he did. Rerdell then produces this book and this paper 
which I have shown to you. 

Now, let us follow Mr. Rerdell from the Albemarle 
Hotel. 

I will show that he crosses himself on almost every fact 
that he endeavors to swear to. He swears that he went to 
Dorsey's ; that from Dorsey's he went immediately to Tor- 
rey's office ; that he then went and got lunch and then went 
to Jersey City. He also swears that he got his breakfast 
before he went to Dorsey's. In the next examination he 
swears that he got his breakfast after he went to Dorsey's, 
and after he got the book he went to Jersey City, first 
walking up and down Broadway for about an hour. He 
had forgotten about the lunch. There is nothing in it but 
a mass of contradiction. He swears that he went down to 
Torrey's office. Why did he not make it earlier, as soon as 
he got off the boat ? Because he did not have any key to 
the office. It would not do to swear that he broke into the 
office and that nobody ever heard of it, and so he had to 
put the time after the office would naturally be open. Well, 
now we have got him as far as the office. He swears that 
he went in there and saw Mr. Torrey. After chatting a 
little with Torrey, and telling him the object of his visit, 
Torrey took him into the next room and took these books 
from a shelf or desk, or something of that kind, and handed 
them both to him, and he looked them over at his leisure, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 28 1 

while Mr. Torrey went back to his business. He finally 
took the journal and left the ledger. Why did he leave the 
ledger? I will tell you after a while. Every lie, as well 
as every truth, has its philosophy. He took the journal 
and came along out with it under his arm, not wrapped up, 
not concealed. Then he had another chat with Torrey 
about the weather or something, and then he went on. 
Why did he swear that he had a conversation with Torrey 
in that office? I will tell you. When he was giving that 
testimony, Torrey was in mid-ocean, between New York 
and Liverpool. I guess Mr. Rerdell had heard that the 
man was away. He thought he would be absolutely and 
perfectly safe, and so he said he had a conversation with 
Torrey. The moment he repeated that conversation with 
Torrey, I said, "Where is Torrey?" We telegraphed to 
New York and we found that Torrey had left for the old 
country. We sent a cablegram to Queenstown and we in 
tercepted him. I think he staid a day in the old country, 
and took the next ship and came back, arriving here in 
time to swear that Rerdell never visited that office, that he 
never had that conversation with him, and that he never 
got that book from that office ; more than that, that that 
book never was in that office. Who are you going to be 
lieve, Torrey or Rerdell ? 

Another man was there on that very day, Mr. Mullins. 
He never had any recollection of seeing Rerdell until he 
saw him here. All the books were kept in the safe except 
the books that Torrey had in his desk. No such books 
were in the safe and no such books were in Torrey 's desk. 
Gentlemen, no such books existed, and I will demonstrate 
it to you before I get through. No doubt the man had 
some little expense-books of his own. He has widened 
them, he has lengthened them, he has thickened them, he 
has colored them. He has refreshed other people. When 
the Government tells a man, " You have got an office, 



282 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

haven't you ? " " Yes." " Well, we want you to remember 
this." Then he is refreshed on the subject. The words 
the Government speaks are rain and dew and sunlight upon 
the dry grass of his memory and it springs up green. He 
says he has been refreshed. Before I get through I will 
show you that these things were proved only by gentlemen 
who had been refreshed. 

Now, why did Rerdell say he took the journal and left 
the ledger ? I will tell you. There is more in the shirt 
theory than you would think. He had a shirt in a paper, 
folded up just once over the bosom. Unexpectedly he met 
Mr. James on the train. He was very much surprised to 
meet him, because James swears he was very much sur 
prised to meet Rerdell. James knew that he had gone 
over to New York to get those books, and he asked him, 
" Did you get the books ? " Rerdell had that beggarly 
little package. He could not call that " books," because it 
was not large enough, and so he had to say he had a book. 
That was the reason he said journal and not ledger. He 
had too small a package for " books," and consequently he 
told James he had the " book," and he is sticking to it ; 
only one book. Another reason : He said to James, and it 
was very smart of him, " I don't want to show you what 
I have got in this package, because there is a fellow look 
ing," and so the shirt, in unconscious innocence, reposed 
unseen. Who was the fellow who was looking? Chase 
Andrews. You recollect him. He came into the depot at 
Jersey City at the time Rerdell was writing this virtuous 
dispatch, this certificate of his honor and of his faithful 
ness. He shook hands with Rerdell. Rerdell said he had 
a carpet-sack, but it was not big enough to get one of these 
books in. He wanted the jury to think it was a pretty big 
book. He hated to lose a chance of adding to the size of 
the book, and so he swore that it was too big to put in the 
carpet-sack. If he had only had sense enough to put it in 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 283 

the carpet-sack, and let it alone, we never could have 
proven anything about it by Chase Andrews. Andrews 
would not have sworn that he looked through the carpet- 
sack. But Rerdell in his anxiety to have that book a big 
book said he could not get it into the carpet-sack, and con 
sequently must have held it in his hand. Chase Andrews 
saw him in the depot at Jersey City, and rode in the next 
seat in the Pullman car from Jersey City to Washington, 
and Rerdell had no book. Who will you believe, Chase 
Andrews or Mr. Rerdell ? 

MR. INGKRSOLL. [Resuming.] May it please the Court 
and gentlemen of the jury. 

It is also claimed by the prosecution that on the evening 
of the day on which Rerdell was in New York and sent the 
telegram from Jersey City, Dorsey wrote a letter to Rerdell 
in which he begged him for the sake of his family, for the 
sake of his children, and everything to go no further. I 
believe it is claimed that after Mr. Rerdell got back here to 
Washington he showed that letter to his brother. It struck 
me as extremely wonderful that he did not show his brother 
the book ; that was such an important thing, it being the 
thing that he went after, being something that was to de 
cide his fate with the Government. There was nothing 
about that. Let me say right here : Suppose his story is 
true that he told Dorsey that he had been to the Govern 
ment. Would Dorsey write to that man a letter begging 
him for God's sake not to go further ? Would he not rather 
have sent some man to see him ? He knew at that time 
that he was utterly dishonest, having received that very 
afternoon, according to Rerdell's testimony, a telegram from 
Rerdell, in which Rerdell admitted that he had told a false 
hood. Would he then have put himself upon paper? Would 
he have put himself in the power of that same man ? I ask 
you, because you know there is about as much human na 
ture in one person as in another, on the average, and the 



284 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

only way you can tell what another man will do is by think 
ing "What would I do under the circumstances?" 

I am going to demonstrate to you now with just one 
point that there were no such books. When Rerdell came to 
make the affidavit of June 20, 1881, Dorsey knew that Rer 
dell had talked with MacVeagh, James, and Clayton. He 
also knew that Rerdell, according to his statement, had 
promised to go to New York and get the red book. Rerdell 
swears in the affidavit of June, 1881, that he promised Mac 
Veagh to go to New York and get those books. Dorsey 
knew at that time whether such books existed or not. If 
he knew they did exist then he knew that Rerdell went 
after them. Why did not Dorsey ask Rerdell at the time 
he made that affidavit," Did you get a book in New York ? " 
Admitting, for the sake of the argument, that Rerdell's story 
is true that the books were there and that Dorsey knew it, 
would not Dorsey have asked him, when he was making 
the affidavit of June 20, 1881, "Did you get a book in New 
York ? What did you do with it, if you did ? " Rerdell 
swears that Dorsey did not mention that subject; that it 
was not talked of between them. Why ? Because both 
knew that no such books existed. That is the reason he 
did not ask him if he got it. He knew that he did not get 
it. Why ? Because the book was not there to be obtained. 
Can you explain that on any other hypothesis ? Dorsey 
knew at this time, according to the testimony of Rerdell, 
that Rerdell was dishonest ; knew that Rerdell had tried to 
sell him out to the Government ; knew that Rerdell had 
promised MacVeagh he would go to New York and get those 
books; knew that Rerdell had been to New York ; knew 
that Rerdell had gotten back, and yet did not ask him, "Did 
you get a book?" Would he not naturally have said, "I 
want that book that you got in New York. I want it now." 
It also appears in evidence that on the very day that Rerdell 
was in New York and says he was in Torrey 's office, Torrey 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 285 

in the afternoon went to the Albemarle Hotel to do some 
writing for Mr. Dorsey. Is it conceivable that Torrey 
would not in that conversation have told Dorsey, " Your 
clerk, Rerdell, came to the office to-day and I gave him the 
mail book or one of those books"? Not a word. That 
affidavit was made in June, 1881, and was the affidavit in 
which Rerdell disclosed what he had done with the Gov 
ernment, and that he had agreed to get that very book, 
and yet Dorsey did not take interest enough in the matter 
to ask him if he got a book. 

Mr. MERRICK. Is there any evidence of the conversation 
between Torrey and Dorsey ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. No. The evidence is that Torrey went 
there that evening. You claim that that was the topic of 
conversation, and that Dorsey sent dispatches to Rerdell 
that night and wrote a letter to Rerdell. So, I say, under 
the circumstances, and with the excitement then prevailing, 
it is inconceivable that Torrey should not have said, " Your 
man Rerdell has been at my office to-day, and got one of 
the books." 

I say it is inconceivable that he did not tell him, and 
therefore Dorsey must have known it had it been a fact, and 
had it been a fact when Rerdell made the affidavit of 1881, 
Dorsey would have said, " I want that book. I want the 
book you stole from my office." He did not even mention 
it. It was not the subject of conversation. Yet, in that 
same affidavit, he said that he agreed to go and get it, and 
in that same affidavit he said that no such book ever existed. 
He swore to that affidavit from friendship. You see, 
gentlemen, about how much friendship that man is capable 
of. He swore for friendship that no such book existed ; he 
now swears that it did. What is that for ? You want to 
consider these things. Nobody asked about that book. 
The matter drifted along. The summer wore away. Au 
tumn touched the woods with gold. Nobody ever men- 



286 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

tioned the book. Winter came. That book was in a little 
carpet-sack hanging in a woodshed. A magnificent place 
to secrete property. The snows descended ; the winds 
howled around that woodshed. The carpet-sack hung 
there with the book in it. Nobody touched it. I think the 
next year, may be that summer, he wrote or telegraphed to 
Mrs. Cushman to get the book. It suddenly occurred to 
him that a woodshed was not a safe place for it. She got a 
book. She looked into it enough to find out it was about 
the mail business. She put it away ; finally that book was 
brought from its hiding-place on the i3th of July, 1882, 
when Rerdell says he handed it over to Dorsey, and there 
is not one syllable of evidence going to show that it was 
ever spoken of from the time he visited New York until he 
brought it to Dorsey, as he claimed, at Willard's Hotel. 
What made him give it to him ? Dorsey was mad. Dorsey 
threatened that he would have Rerdell arrested for perjury, 
because Rerdell had sworn that he, Dorsey, was innocent. 
That is enough to excite the wrath of an ordinary man. 
Dorsey was then on trial. The first trial was then going 
on. We were right in the midst of it. The year before 
that Rerdell had solemnly taken his oath that Dorsey was 
an innocent man, and here Dorsey was in a court insisting 
that he was innocent. Yet he threatened to have Rerdell 
then and there punished for perjury because he had sworn 
that he was innocent. That frightened Rerdell. I think 
it was calculated to frighten any man. 

Why did Dorsey allow Rerdell to keep that book ? There 
is only one possible explanation : The book never existed. 
That is all. Torrey would have told about it if it had been 
taken from his office, because I believe the evidence shows 
that that affidavit was shortly afterwards published. No 
body seemed to have taken any interest in that book. All 
interest faded away. Now, Mr. Rerdell made that affidavit 
on the 2oth of June, 1881. I believe, on page 2468, Rerdell 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 287 

swears that when he made the affidavit of June 20, 1881, he 
had the copies of the original journal and ledger at Dor- 
sey's office. Afterwards he swears he had not. He swears 
that he then gave them to Dorsey. Afterwards he says 
they were sent to New York the year before. I will come to 
that after awhile. Now, let us see what the position of af 
fairs was on June 20, 1881. At this time Rerdell had furnished 
the Government all the information he had, except the book. 
Then they had said to him substantially, ' ' The evidence is 
insufficient. We want more." Rerdell agreed to furnish them 
the books, and went to New York to get the books. 

Now, he had Dorsey absolutely in his power, according to 
his account. What did he do ? He had, according to his 
testimony, the copy of the letter Dorsey had written to 
Bosler on the I3th of May, 1879, the copy having been made 
by Miss Nettie L. White. He had the tabular statement in 
Dorsey's own handwriting, showing thirty-three and one-third 
per cent, to T. J. B. He had the letter that he himself wrote to 
Bosler on the 22d of May, 1880. He had the red book. Accord 
ing to his statement, on that day he had Dorsey in his power. 
All he had to do was to take the next step and secure absolute 
safety for himself and crush his employer. What did he do? 
He then said, "I went to the Government and played the 
detective." He retreated. He voluntarily put himself in a 
position a thousand times as perilous as he had been in before. 
He put himself in a place where he had to swear that what he 
told the Government was a lie, and that he was simply en 
deavoring to find out the Government's case and was acting 
as a detective. You must recollect that Rerdell is a man who 
does nothing for money. He will make an affidavit for un 
adulterated friendship. He will make it also from fright. He 
will make it also, he says, in the interest of truth. At that 
time he made an affidavit, as he says, for friendship, and it is 
for the jury to determine how much a man like Rerdell 
because you know what he is just as well as I do would do 
for friendship. You have seen him here day after day. You 



288 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

saw him sitting right at the door when Mr. Ker and Mr. Bliss 
were demonstrating to you that he was a guilty wretch, and 
you saw his face beaming with pleasure. He was absolutely 
delighted. Yet when Mr. Wilson stood here and endeavored 
to show that the man was not as bad as he said he was, en 
deavored to show that his plea of guilty was absolutely false, 
he slunk away, covered with the shame of innocence. He did 
not want to hear that. He wanted it understood that he was 
guilty, and that it was the proudest moment of his life. Now, 
it is for you to determine how much such a man would do for 
friendship. It is for you to determine how you can take 
advantage of his finer nature. He had Dorsey in his power, 
according to his story, but instead of carrying out his original 
design he turned against the Government. Why did he do 
that ? Because of patriotism ? No. Why ? He did it for 
his own benefit, gentlemen. He never acted from any other 
motive. Why did he not stay with the Government ? Be 
cause they would not give him his price for his evidence. 
Why would they not give him his price for his evidence ? 
Because his evidence was not worth it. If he had had the 
copy of the letter from Dorsey to Bosler they would have 
given him his price. They would have followed him all over 
the United States to have given him his price. There was 
the absolute evidence against Dorsey. There was the evi 
dence against the man whom Mr. MacVeagh wished to drag 
down. Why did they not buy it ? Because the man did not 
have it. Why did he desert the Government ? Because the 
Government would not give him his price. Again I ask why 
would not the Government give him his price? Because he 
had not the goods ; he had not the evidence. Then what did 
he do? He sneaked back and asked protection of the man 
he had endeavored to betray. That is what he did. He 
again asked Dorsey to stand by him. Dorsey did not need 
this man. This man needed him, and he instantly deserted 
the Government and went back to Dorsey. For the sake of 
saving Dorsey? No. For the purpose of saving himself. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 289 

He had not the evidence. Yet, according to this testimony 
of his, he did what I told you. What else did he have ? He 
had the route-book. What was the route-book, gentlemen ? 
From the evidence it appears that this man kept a route- 
book, and that in it he had the name of each route, the 
number of the route, where it started from, and where it 
went to, the name of the contractor, the amount per year, the 
name of the subcontractor, the amount per year, and then a 
column showing whether it had been increased, and, if so, 
how much, and whether it had been expedited, and, if so, 
how much. He had that book. He says he was subpoenaed 
to appear before the Congressional committee. What book 
would that committee want ? They would want the book that 
showed the original contracts, the subcontracts, the descrip 
tion of the routes, how much the Government paid to the 
contractor, and how much the contractor paid to the subcon 
tractor. That was the book they wanted, and that was the 
book to hide if any hiding was to be done. That was the 
book to have copied. That was the book in which figures 
should have been changed, if in any. And yet he never said 
one word about that route-book. He had it in his possession. 
Why should he not expect the committee of Congress to call 
for that book ? He did not tell you. He did not have that 
book copied, and yet that was the book that had in it every 
particle of information that the Congressional committee 
wanted. Not a word on that subject. 

It appears, too, in the evidence, that Mr. Rerdell had in his 
possession certain notes that passed between him and Mr. 
Steele about the red books. Why were not those notes pro 
duced in evidence ? Mr. Steele was here on the subpoena ol 
the Government. Why were not those notes produced in 
evidence ? Not a word about that. Is it possible that those 
notes were about the route-book ? Why were they not pro 
duced? Rerdell went before that Congressional committee. 
He did not take any route-book. What did he take? He 
said that he had these books made up to take. Did they 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

contain the accounts of the subcontractors ? No. Donnelly 
swears there were not more than twelve accounts in the book. 
What was the use of taking that book, or those books, before 
the committee? Another thing: He says that he went im 
mediately and got those books copied. Would he try to 
palm off the copies as originals ? Would not the committee 
ask him the very first thing, " In whose handwriting are these 
books?" He could not say, "They are in mine," because 
then he would be caught. He would have to say, ' ' They are 
in Mr. Donnelly's handwriting." The next question would 
be, " Where is Mr. Donnelly?" And the answer would be, 
" Here in town." The committee would send for him and 
would ask, "Mr. Donnelly, did you write in those books?" 
"Yes." " Did you make the entries at the time they pur 
port to have been made?" "No, sir; I copied them from 
another set of books that Mr. Rerdell gave to me." He 
would either say that or swear to a lie. Then they would 
say, " Mr. Rerdell, we want the original books," and then he 
would be caught. You cannot imagine a more shallow device. 
More than that, the books would not have any information 
that the committee wanted, nothing about these contracts, 
and nothing about the amount paid the subcontractors. If 
the committee wanted anything they wanted to show that the 
Government was paying a large price and the contractors 
were paying to the subcontractors a small price. Rerdell 
says that when he was subpoenaed to bring his books he 
never thought of the route-book. He thought of the red 
books, and yet the route-book was the only book that had 
any information that the committee wanted. How was he to 
palm that off? Is it possible to think of a reason having in it 
less probability, less weight, less human nature than the 
reason he gives for having those books copied? There is 
another question. If Rerdell expected to palm off the copies 
as the originals, why did he keep the originals? For 
instance. I have a book here that I don't want Congress to 
see, and so I have it copied. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 29 1 

I am going to swear that that copy is the original ; otherwise 
the device is good for nothing. Why keep the original and 
run the perpetual danger of discovery ? Why not burn the 
original ? Why keep the evidence of my own guilt, liable to 
be found at any moment by accident, by a servant, by a 
stranger ? That is not human nature, gentlemen. Then there 
is another question : If he were going to have a book copied 
and then swear that the copy was the original, he would have 
copied it himself. If a man intends to swear to a lie the first 
thing he does is not to take somebody into the secret. Why 
should he have put himself in the power of Donnelly ? He was 
the man to be the witness before the committee, and if his de 
vice worked he intended to swear before the committee thai 
the copies were the originals ; and yet, by going to Donnelly 
to have the work done, he manufactured a witness that 
would always stand ready to prove that he, Rerdell, had 
sworn to a falsehood. What men work in that way ? When 
a man makes up his mind to swear to a lie does he take 
pains to go to one of his neighbors and say, " I am going 
to swear to a lie to-morrow and I want to give you the 
evidence of it. I am going to swear that a copy is an orig 
inal. I want you to make the copy so that I can swear to 
it." Would not the neighbor then say, " I will be a witness 
against you in that case. You had better copy it your 
self." Just see what he did. He took pains to have a wit 
ness so that if he swore falsely he could be contradicted and 
convicted. Why did he not copy the books himself ? After 
he got the originals copied why did he not burn up the 
originals so that nobody could ever find them in his pos 
session ? 

Let us take another step. Finally, he got before the 
committee. When he got before the committee what did 
he swear ? He swore that he kept some expense-books 
showing how he stood with the contractors. I think that 
was the truth. I think that is what he did keep. He did 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

not tell the committee about the route-book. Not a word. 
That was the only book that he concealed in his testimony. 
He said he kept some expense-books and those were all 
that he kept. He did not tell about the route-book. That 
is the only book that he failed to mention. Consequently, 
it seems to me, that was the only book he did not want to 
show. Why ? Because he thought at that time they were 
going to make a great outcry about what was paid to the 
subcontractor and to the contractor and he had no advices 
from anybody, except from whom ? Except from Mr. 
Bosler. What did Bosler tell him ? Bosler told him, " I 
see no reason why you should not exhibit your books and 
papers." Now, according to Rerdell's testimony, on the i3th 
of May the year before, Dorsey had written a letter to Bos 
ler informing him that he had given twenty thousand dol 
lars to T. J. B. Bosler knew, if the testimony of Rerdell 
is true, that that letter had been written, and Bosler had 
that information. He knew if the letter had been copied, 
too, because every letter that one receives gives evidence 
whether it has been copied or not. And yet, knowing of 
that letter, he wrote to Rerdell or telegraphed him that he 
saw no reason why he should not show all his books and 
papers. Nobody believes that. Nobody ever will believe 
it ! The earth may revolve in its orbit for millions of years, 
and generations may come and go, countless as the leaves 
of all the forests, and there never will be found a man of 
average intelligence to believe that story. Just think of it. 
Bosler, according to the testimony of Rerdell, had gone 
into partnership with Dorsey knowing there was a conspir 
acy, knowing Dorsey was paying to Brady thirtj'-three and 
one-third per cent, of the profits, and thereupon the clerk 
who attended to the business writes or telegraphs to him, 
and says he has been subpoenaed to appear before the Con 
gressional committee with the books and papers, and Mr. 
Bosler knowing of the existence of the conspiracy, and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 293 

knowing that Brady is getting thirty-three and one-third 
per cent, writes or telegraphs back that he sees no reason 
why all the books and papers should not be presented to 
the committee. Gentlemen, that is impossible ; it never 
happened and it never will. 

Ah, but they say these books did exist. Why ? Because 
Mr. Donnelly copied them. Let us see whether he did or 
not. There is nothing like examining these questions. Mr. 
Rerdell says that in his interview with Brady, Brady sug 
gested to him that he had better have them copied. This, 
I believe, was on the 2ist of May, 1880. Now he swears 
that in accordance with that view or suggestion that he re 
ceived from Brady he had the books copied by Donnelly. 
When did he have it done? He had it done after the 2ist 
day of May, 1880. On page 2638 Donnelly swears that he 
copied these books in the latter part of April or the. forepart 
of May. On page 2636, where he was asked if he had any 
thing to do with copying a book of accounts for Rerdell, he 
says that he had ; and on being asked what kind of books 
they were, says they were a small set of books. Donnelly 
swears that they related to the mail business, and seemed 
to be the books of a firm. At that time nobody was inter 
ested in the matter except S. W. Dorsey. How did they 
appear to be the books of a firm ? Donnelly swears, on 
page 2640, " there were not more than a dozen accounts in 
the book." Let us see if these were the mail books. He 
says there was an account against S. W. Dorsey ; that is 
one. An account against John W. Dorsey ; that is two. 
Against Donnelly himself ; that is three. M. C. Rerdell ; 
that is four. Interest account ; five. A mail account ; six. 
An expense account ; seven. A profit and loss account, 
eight ; and an account with William Smith, nine. That is 
all he gives. But he says they were not to exceed a dozen. 
On page 2644 Gibbs says there was an account against 
Colonel Steele and Mrs. Steele. I take it they would be in 



294 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

one account. That makes ten. Then there was an account 
against Jennings, making eleven ; and an account against 
Perkins, making twelve. Let us see if we can go a little 
further. Mr. Rerdell swears to a cash account ; that is 
thirteen. Also an account against J. H. Mitchell ; that is 
fourteen ; and one against Belford, making fifteen. You 
can deduct your Jones and your Smith and have one more 
account in the book then than Donnelly swears was in it. 
He swears they were not to exceed a dozen. That was the 
book with all this mail business. We will follow it up a little. 
Rerdell says he opened the books according to the memo 
randum, and swears consequently that there was a cash ac 
count and an account with J. H. Mitchell. J. B. Belford, I 
believe, he afterwards mentioned. Now, according to Gibb's 
testimony there was an account with Perkins. Understand 
I say that the only book he had, if he had any, was a private 
book in which he kept his own expense accounts and his 
own matters, and it was not a book with which Stephen 
W. Dorsey had any connection. I say that the William 
Smith and Samuel Jones account he has added for the pur 
pose of having something to sell to the Government. That 
is my claim. I say they were his private books. There 
was an account with Perkins. You have heard all the 
testimony, gentlemen. You know all the contracts in this 
case. You know all the subcontracts. There is not a 
single solitary account in this book with any subcontractor 
mentioned in any of these subcontracts except Perkins and 
possibly Jennings. Who was Perkins? Perkins was a 
subcontractor on the route from Rawlins to White River. 
That is the route that Rerdell had an interest in himself. 
Rerdell made the subcontract with Perkins himself, and 
consequently he had an account with Perkins in his own 
private book, and had not any account with the rest of the 
subcontractors. We also find, according to Gibbs, that 
there was an account against Jennings. Who was Jennings ? 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 295 

That brings us to the Jennings's claim. That is the claim 
that he told Mr. Woodward about, when he wanted to sell 
out intheferst place, and that is the claim that he told Mac- 
Veagh and the Postmaster-General about. Strangely 
enough and wonderfully enough we find that claim in this 
very book. That shows whether this was a private book 
or whether it was a book kept for the accounts of Dorsey. 

Now, by looking at the Post-Office reports I find that nine 
hundred and ninety-four dollars was paid to Rerdell for 
Jennings on the I4th day of April, 1880, and the question I 
ask is did he keep two sets of books at that time ? He pro 
duced in court a book of his own, kept at that time with the 
Jennings account in it. The book that was copied had the 
Perkins account, and why ? Because it was a special account 
in which Rerdell was interested. They have failed to prove 
that there was in that other book any account in which 
Dorsey was necessarily interested, except the account kept 
with Rerdell showing Rerdell's transactions with Dorsey. 

We now come to the testimony of Mr. Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs 
says his wife copied a journal between Christmas, 1879, and 
the ist of March, 1880. Rerdell says that she copied the 
journal and ledger both. The witness, Gibbs, gives the color 
of the book. He says it was not red ; it was either brown or 
black. Mr. Gibbs remembers nothing about the Smith ac 
count, whether it was large or whether it was small. He 
finally swears that he does not really recollect anything about 
it, except that Rerdell brought the book there and said he 
wanted to get a copy made to send to Dorsey in New York, 
and that he returned the book and the copy to Rerdell. He 
swears that he remembers as names in this book Smith, Jones, 
and S. W. Dorsey, and M. C. Rerdell. Those were all he 
could think of. He does not remember the name of John H. 
Mitchell. On page 2646, he says he believes that Rerdell 
came to him and asked him during the trial if he recollected 
the name of William Smith, and he swears that when Rerdell 
asked him if he recollected the name of William Smith, he 



296 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

distinctly told him that he did not. Then he asked him if he 
recollected the name of Jones, and he swears that he told 
Rerdell when he asked him that question that he did not. I 
read from page 2646 : 
I tried not to remember anything of this. 

How can a man try not to remember? What mental 
muscle is it that he contracts when he tries not to remember ? 
That is a metaphysical question that interested me greatly 
when the man was testifying, for he said he tried not to re 
member. Why did he try not to remember ? 

I didn't want to be called into court if I could possibly help it, and 
for quite a long time did not mention the fact that I knew anything of 
the books. But when I was called into court, I thought of all the 
circumstances connected with the time that I copied the books ; and 
a few days ago, or a week or so ago, in going home one night, and 
thinking this thing over in my mind, and thinking of everything I 
could think of, my mind reverted to a conversation I had had at the 
time, laughing and looking over the books. 

It was not only one book, then. 

And I wrote a great many letters, and read a great many names 
They must have been in the letter-books 

and was laughing about the peculiarity of the names, and even made 
the remark, "There is even Smith and Jones in it." 

What a wonderful circumstance ! In copying the books 
and making an index of the three letter-books he found Smith 
and Jones. The difficulty would have been not to find Smith 
or Jones. 

That is the evidence of that man. When Rerdell first went 
to him, he told Rerdell distinctly, " I remember no name of 
Smith ; I remember no name of Jones." And then he waited 
until Rerdell went on the stand and swore that he copied 
those books, and that the names of Smith and Jones were in 
them, and then his memory was refreshed, and he came here 
and swore that the names of Smith and Jones were there. All 
of a sudden it came to him, like a flash, and he subsequently 
had the conversation with his wife. Gentlemen, you may be- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 2Q7 

lieve it ; I do not ; not a word of it. He is mistaken. He 
has mistaken imagination for memory ; he has mistaken what 
Mr. Rerdell told him now for something he thinks happened 
long ago. He took the letter-books, too. May be there is 
where he found some of his strange names. 

Rerdell says, in swearing to the letter which he says was 
written by Dorsey to Bosler on the I3th of May, 1879, that he 
(S. W. Dorsey) took that book, all his own books that were 
not used for the mail business, and boxed them up. When ? 
In 1879. Mr. Kellogg swears that after they were boxed up 
they were sent to New York. When ? In 1879. And yet 
Rerdell swears that between Christmas and New Year's, 
1879, those books were at the house of Mr. Gibbs to be in 
dexed. It will not do. And Rerdell swears that he had the 
letter-book containing the letter of May 13, here in 1881, 
when he went to MacVeagh, and yet, according to his own 
testimony, that book was sent to New York in 1879. And he 
swears that the three letter-books and I will call your atten 
tion to them after a while that he had here, commenced on 
the 1 5th of May, and ended, I think, in April or May, 1882. 
He swears that the letter written by Dorsey to Bosler was 
written on the I3th of May, 1879, and then he swears that the 
first letter in the three letter-books was dated the i5th of May, 
two days afterward. So he had not the book here. I knew 
he did not have it, because if he had had such a book with 
such a letter, he never would have gone to New York to steal 
a book ; he would have stolen that one. 

Torrey took charge of the books January 27, 1880, and he 
kept them until the ist of May, 1880, in the Boreel Building, 
and then at that time moved to 145 Broadway, and kept them 
there until the last of April, 1882. 

Now, gentlemen, I will come to those red books again in 
a moment. Here is a little piece of evidence about the 
books. You know it was the hardest thing in the world 
to -find out how many books this man had, how many times 
they were copied, who copied them, and what he did with 



298 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the copies ; and he got us all mixed up counsel for the 
prosecution, the Court, counsel for the defence none of us 
could understand it. " How many books did you have ? 
What did you do with them ? " " Well, I took them to 
New York. No, I did not ; I had some of them here." 
Finally I manufactured out of my imagination a carpet- 
sack for him. I said, " Didn't you take these books over to 
New York in a carpet-sack ? " He said " Yes," he did. He 
jumped at that carpet-sack like a trout at a fly. Let me call 
your attention to some other evidence, on page 2637, near 
the bottom. Donnelly is testifying : 

Q. Was it an exact copy of the book? A. It was not. 

Q. In what did it differ from the book you were keeping? There 
were some items left out. 

Q. What accounts did you leave out ? A. I left the William Smith 
account out. 

Q. What did you do with that amount in order to balance the 
books ? 

Now, I want you to pay particular attention to this 
answer. 

A. My recollection is that I carried it to profit and loss. 
Q. On the books or on the balance sheet ? A. On both. 

Now, remember, these were the books made out to fool 
the committee. I suppose there are some book-keepers on 
this jury. I suppose Mr. Greene knows something about 
book-keeping, and Mr. Evans, and Mr. Crane, and Mr. 
Gill. I do not know but you all do. And you know that 
when you carry an amount to profit and loss you do not 
throw the name away ; you keep the name. If you have 
charged against Robert G. Ingersoll five thousand dollars, 
which you never expect to get, and you want to charge it to 
profit and loss, you make the charge and you put my name 
against that. You put profit and loss against Robert G. 
Ingersoll's debt. Everybody that ever kept a book knows 
that. If you carry an amount to profit and loss you rewrite 
the name of the person who owes the debt. So that when 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 299 

he says, " My recollection is that I carried it to profit and 
loss," there would be a name twice in the book instead of 
once. If it was simply in the book once it would be, 
" William Smith, debtor, eighteen thousand dollars." But if 
you carry that to profit and loss you must credit profit and 
loss by this William Smith amount, and consequently get 
the name in the book twice instead of once. And that is 
what they call covering it up. They were so afraid that 
somebody would see an account against William Smith in 
one part of the book that they opened another account in 
the profit and loss business and put it in again. That 
would be twice. Now, let us go on a little : 

Q. Were there any other accounts transferred in the same way ? 
A. I rather think there were, but I am not certain. 

Q. Did you make the books balance on your copy ? A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How long were you working on that copy ? A. I was working 
on it two evenings and all of one night. 

Now, recollect, in the copy that he made, he carried the 
account of William Smith and may be Jones, he does not 
remember to profit and loss. 

Now, let us take the next step. Let us go to page 2269. 
This is as good as a play. Donnelly swears that when he 
made the first copy he carried the William Smith account 
and some other to profit and loss. Rerdell swears that 
acting upon the hint of General Brady he got a man to do 
what ? To make another copy and leave out the items that 
had heretofore been charged to profit and loss. Donnelly 
swears that he balanced the books, and he is the only man 
that ever did balance the books, according to the testimony. 
After Rerdell had been subpoenaed to appear before the 
Congressional committee, he got another man, whom he 
swears he put to work on the books, designating the entries 
to be left out by drawing a pencil mark through them ; that 
he told him to make up a new set of books, leaving out 
those entries, but to leave the books so that they would 
balance, taking the entries that were stricken out, and also 



3OO CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the same amount that had been carried to profit and loss, 
and leave them entirely out. Rerdell swears that prior to 
that time these accounts had been carried to profit and loss, 
and that he struck out the credits to Dorsey. 

Then the evidence as it stands is this: Rerdell swears 
that Mrs. Gibbs copied the journal and ledger. Gibbs does 
not swear it, but Rerdell does. That made four books. 
Then he got Donnelly to make another set of books with 
the William Smith and Dorsey accounts carried to profit 
and loss. 

That is six books. After he had been subpoenaed 
by the committee he got another man to make a 
new set of books and leave out the William Smith and 
Dorsey accounts and the profit and loss account, and that 
makes eight books. And there we are, so far as that is 
concerned. 

Now, gentlemen, I have come to one other view of this 
case. I hope that you will not forget because I do not 
want to speak of it all the time that this man Rerdell 
swears that he had the original letter-press copy of that 
letter which he says Dorsey wrote to Bosler. Do not for 
get that. He says he had that before he went to New 
York to steal the red books; do not forget that. And 
that he gave that testimony away ; do not forget that. That 
he says he had it copied by Miss White, and they do not 
introduce Miss White to show that she copied it ; do not 
forget that. Do not forget, too, that he had when he was 
there the tabular statement in the handwriting of S. W. 
Dorsey. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Resuming.] Gentlemen, on page 2286 
Mr. Rerdell gives the contents of a letter which he says 
Dorsey wrote to him the night he, Rerdell, left New York, 
and when he says he had the book with him. He swears, 
you remember, that afterwards Dorsey tore the letter up. 
Let me read you the letter as he says it was written : 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 301 

The letter started out by stating that he did not believe the report 
that had been brought to him in reference to myself, and that he also 
believed the affidavit story to be a lie. He plead in the letter for the 
sake of his wife and children and himself, and his social and business 
relations, and the friendship that had long existed between us not to 
do anything for his injury ; for God's sake to reconsider everything 
that I had done and take no steps further until he could see me. It 
was in that strain, simply begging me not to do anything further until 
he could see me. 

Now, let us analyze that letter, keeping in our minds 
what Rerdell has sworn. Rerdell has sworn that when he 
went to the Albermarle Hotel he told Dorsey what he had 
done ; that he had had the conversations with MacVeagh 
and James. Let me call your attention to the dispatch 
from Jersey City. First, Dorsey wrote to Rerdell that he 
did not believe the report that had been brought to him ; 
that had been brought to him. He could not have used that 
word " brought " if Rerdell had been the bringer. If Rer 
dell had made the report to him in person he could not 
have written to Rerdell, " I do not believe the report that 
has been brought to me." The use of the word " brought" 
shows that somebody else told him ; not the person to whom 
he wrote. "The report." What report? There is only 
one answer. The report that Rerdell had been in consul 
tation with the Government. He writes to Rerdell, " I 
don't believe that report that has been brought to me," and 
yet when he wrote it, if Rerdell's testimony is true, he 
knew that Rerdell had given him that very report and he 
knew that Rerdell would know that he, Rerdell, had told 
Dorsey that very thing. Second, that he, Dorsey, believed 
the affidavit story to be a lie. There is again in this hori 
zon of falsehood one little cloud of truth. Rerdell had not 
made an affidavit. He had told James, MacVeagh, Wood 
ward, and Clayton what you know, but he had not made 
any affidavit, and when he was charged, if he was, with 
having made an affidavit, it delighted him to have one little 



302 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

speck of truth, just one thing that he could honestly deny. 
That was the one thing. He had not yet made an affidavit. 
Third, Dorsey plead with him in the letter for the sake of 
his wife, his children, himself, his social and business rela 
tions, and the friendship that had long existed between 
them, not to do what ? Not to do anything further. Ac 
cording to Rerdell, he told him in the letter he did not 
believe he had done anything. Rerdell swears that he 
wrot LJ him in the letter that he did not believe the re 
port ; that is, that he had yet done anything, and then 
wound up the letter by begging him, for God's sake, not to do 
any thing further. How came he to use the word " further " ? 
"Don't take any further steps. I know that you have not 
taken any step at all, but do not, I pray you, take any 
further steps." That letter will not hang together. Dorsey 
swears he never wrote it. Finally, the letter comes down 
to this : " I don't believe the report. I do not believe you 
have done anything. But, for God's sake, do not do any 
thing more." It is like the old Scotch verdict when a man 
was tried for larceny. The jury found him not guilty, but 
stated at the end of the verdict, " We hope the defendant 
will never do so again." The first part of this letter shows 
that Dorsey did not believe that he had done anything. 
The last part of it shows that he did believe he had done 
something and that he must not go further. No one can 
tell why he introduced the word " further" into this letter 
upon any other hypothesis. Now, I read to you, from 
page 2287, what Rerdell says happened at the Albermarle 
Hotel : 

He charged me with holding interviews with Mr. James, the Post 
master-General, and the Attorney-General, and asked me what I 
meant by it. I told him my action was in his behalf; that I had been 
keeping up with the newspapers, and knowing the facts in regard to 
this mail business, what I had done was done in his behalf. 

That is, he did not deny that he had these conversations, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 303 

did not deny the report, did not deny that he had met the 
Attorney-General and the Postmaster-General, but said : 

My action was in your behalf. 

And then, according to Rerdell, after that Dorsey wrote 
him a letter, in which he said, " I do not believe the re 
port," although Rerdell had made the report to him him 
self. May be that is the reason he did not believe it. 

Now, let me read to you the conversation on his return 
from New York and see how it agrees with the letter. It is 
on page 2288 : 

Mr. Dorsey immediately brought up the conversation that we had 
had over in New York, and what I had done by going to Mr. Mac- 
Veagh, and asked me if I intended to ruin him. I said no, I did not ; 
it was not my intention to ruin him ; it was my intention to help him 
out of what I thought to be a bad difficulty. 

Q. What did he say ? A. He then asked me if I had done any 
thing further since I had left him. 

Yet in the letter that he wrote him from the Albermarle 
Hotel he said that he did not believe the report and did 
not believe that he had done anything against him. The 
first thing he asked him when he got here was, " Have you 
done anything further against me ? " 

I said no, I had not ; I had not been near Mr. MacVeagh. He then 
says, " Well, how shall we get out of this ?" I says. "Mr. Dorsey, 
I will do anything that I can except to commit perjury." 

A very natural remark for Mr. Rerdell to make. He 
would do anything but that. That testimony shows that 
Dorsey never wrote the letter which Rerdell says he did 
write from New York. That testimony shows that they 
did not have the conversation in New York that Rerdell 
says they had. That testimony shows that they did have 
exactly the conversation which Mr. Dorsey swears they 
had. 

Now, I come, gentlemen, to the affidavit of June 20, 1881. 
I would like the letter of July 5, 1882, which is on page 

3733- 



304 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

You understand this affidavit was made in conse 
quence of the conversation, as he says, ,that he had with 
Dorsey after Dorsey came back from New York, in which 
he said he would do anything except commit perjury, and 
when Dorsey told him, " Damn it, what does that amount 
to when a friend is involved? I would not hesitate a 
moment." Consequently he swears that he made up his 
mind for the sake of friendship to swear to a lie for Mr. 
Dorsey. That is what he says now. On the 5th of July, 
1882, while we were in the midst of the other trial, and 
when Mr. Rerdell, as he says, contemplated going over to 
the Government, and when he would not put evidence in 
our hands against himself, he wrote this letter : 

JULY 5, 1882. 

SENATOR : What I am going to say here may surprise you, while, 
judging from certain circumstances that to me are easily to be seen, 
you may not be taken by surprise. 

To commence with this, it will be necessary to go back about a 
year to the time when, looking forward to the inevitable result of the 
star-route matters I started to put myself in accord with the Govern 
ment. At that time I had no thought of being included in any prose 
cution or indictment, supposing that as an agent I could not be held 
criminally responsible. Had I for one moment thought it possible 
nothing could have changed my mind, even anxious as I was to bene 
fit you. The consequence was, I listened to Rosier and did what I will 
ever regret. First, because of the unenviable notoriety given me in 
consequence of doing what he persuaded me to do. 

Who persuaded him? Mr. Bosler. He writes that on 
the 5th of July, 1882, when, as he said, he had made up his 
mind to go over to the Government, and when he would 
not willingly put a club in our hands with which to dash 
out his brains. 

Second, because, let this case go as it may, I am still left under a 
cloud 

That is a pitiable statement. That man under a cloud ! 
both with your friends and acquaintances, and the public generally. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 305 

Here comes, gentlemen, the blossom and flower of this 
paragraph : 

And that, too, almost penniless. 
Then the letter goes on : 

These are stern facts, and cannot be ignored, while had I continued 
acting with the Government my reputation would have been clear, 
and no doubt been appointed to a good position. 

The Government must have promised the gentleman an 
office when he went, in June, 1881, to Woodward and to 
Clayton and to the Attorney-General and to the Postmaster- 
General. According to this letter, among other things he 
was to have an office, the steamboat route was to be rein 
stated, the Jennings' claim was to be allowed, his father-in 
law was to get a clerkship, and according to this letter he 
also was to have a position. That is civil service reform ! 
What does he say ? 

At least I have every reason to believe such would have been the 
result. 

He would have had an office, he has every reason to be 
lieve. Why ? The} r must have promised it to him. 

This now brings us to the present time. I have an opportunity to 
redeem myself, and think it best to do so, as by so doing I can be en 
tirely relieved of the indictment. 

The Government then must have promised him in 1882 
that the indictment should be dismissed as against him. Is 
it possible that he would tell a lie, gentlemen ? Is it pos 
sible the prosecution will say that he lied on the i3th of 
July, 1882, but in 1883, having met with a change of heart, 
he told the truth ? No. 

In taking this step let me say this : It is the result of much thought 
and also of preparation. 

I think so. The preparation of several papers. 

I have realized the fact that all you and Hosier desired was to use 
me, and when no longer needed I could go to the devil. 

Well, I think that is where he has Rone. 



306 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Therefore I have concluded to be used no longer, and propose tc 
look out for myself. 

To-day I am putting things in order, so as to commence right to 
morrow. I regret this on your family's account, but I too have a 
family, and owe it to them to put myself right. 

You see, gentlemen, he wanted to leave an unspotted 
reputation to his children. 

I deem it as being due to you that I should give you notice of my 
intention. Very truly, 

M. C. RERDELL. 

Now, gentlemen, he comes on the stand and swears that 
he made this affidavit, not being overpersuaded by Bosler, 
but because Dorsey with tears and groans besought him to 
make it. Yet on the 5th of July, 1882, he says he made it 
because he was overpersuaded by Bosler, and he says, too, 
" Had I remained with the Government my reputation 
would have been clear, and I have every reason to believe 
I would have had a good position." He says, " I have an 
other opportunity to be entirely relieved from the indict 
ment." These gentlemen say he never was promised 
immunity. That simply shows you cannot believe Mr. Rer- 
dell when he is not under oath, and what he has sworn to 
here shows you cannot believe him when he is under oath. 

Now I come to the affidavit. I will not spend a great 
deal of time upon it. Mr. Rerdell, with extreme ease, with 
out the slightest hesitation, went through that entire affi 
davit, picking out with all the facility imaginable, every 
paragraph written by Dorsey and every paragraph written 
by himself. I was astonished at his exhibition of memory. 
I finally asked to look at the copy of the paper he had, and 
when I got that in my hand I found that every word that 
he swore was written by Dorsey had been underscored with 
a blue pencil. That accounted for the facility with which 
he testified. I found afterwards that that paper had been 
given him by Mr. Woodward and that he had gone through 
and marked such portions as Mr. Dorsey wrote, according 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 307 

to his testimony, or had marked those that he wrote, leav 
ing the others unmarked, so that at a glance he could tell 
which way to swear. Before I get through with the papers 
in this case there is another thing to which I want to call 
your attention. All the papers as to which witnesses were 
called on the subject of handwriting are marked. I will 
show you that every one has a little secret mark upon it, 
so that the man who swore might know which way to 
swear simply by looking at the signature and at no other 
part. There has been a great deal of preparation in this 
case. 

Now, Rerdell swears as to the parts of the affidavit 
that Dorsey wrote and the parts that he wrote. His ob 
ject in swearing was to entirely relieve Messrs. James and 
MacVeagh from having made any bargain with him to 
steal Mr. Dorsey's books, and to entirely relieve them from 
any suspicion, as well as to relieve every other official of 
the Government from any suspicion of having promised 
him any pay in any shape or manner for the making of 
this affidavit. He swears in the first place, that Dorsey 
wrote this : 

My story captured them completely, and I took occasion to refer to 
the steamboat route and the Jennings' claim. Mr. James remarked 
that he knew all about the Jennings' matter, that Jennings had been 
badly treated, and he ought to get the money, and should ; that he 
would investigate the steamboat route and see if anything could be 
done ; that that was the worst part, and his special agents had report 
ed it ; nevertheless he would see if something could not be done. 

On page 2506, in his cross-examination, Mr. Rerdell 
swears that the words 
Mr. James remarked 

were not written by Dorsey, but were written by himself. 
On the same page he swears that the words 

That Jennings had been badly treated 
were not written by Mr. Dorsey, but were written by himself. 



308 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

On his examination-in-chief he swore that these words were 
written by Dorsey. 

On his examination-in-chief he swore that Dorsey wrote 
this: 

And to further deceive them and learn their plans, carried the 
letter-book containing 

And then he wrote 
the much-talked of Oregon correspondence. 

Afterward, when cross-examined, he swears, I think 
upon the same page, 2506, that he himself wrote the words: 

Carried the letter-book containing. 

That Dorsey did not write them. He also swears in his 
examination-in-chief that Dorsey wrote these words : 

Making only one mistake, or rather slip, by which Mr. MacVeagh 
could, as a good lawyer, have detected me, and that was by stating 
that I had kept a set of books. 

On his examination-in-chief he swears that Mr. Dorsey 
wrote those words. On cross-examination he admits that 
Dorsey did not write them and that he wrote them. 

On his examination-in-chief he swears that he wrote this 
himself : 

He said, "Well, Mr. Rerdell, I am in a position where I cannot 
make promises, but if you will place yourself in full accord with the 
Government, you shall not lose by it, and I would advise you not to 
receive any salary from Dorsey this month. It will be all right." 

On cross-examination he takes it back, and swears, on 
page 2503, that Dorsey wrote the words : 

It will be all right. 

He was afraid those words might be given too wide a 
significance and might in some way touch the Attorney- 
General, and consequently he swore that he swore wrong 
when he swore that he wrote them, and that as a matter of 
fact Dorsey wrote them. Then, on his examination-in- 
chief with the marked paper before him, and having plenty 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 309 

of time to manufacture his testimony, he swore that he 
wrote the words : 

He asked me 

In his own handwriting, and that Dorsey wrote these 
words 

when I was going to New York to get those books. I replied, "On 
Sunday night." He said, " Don't put it off too long, as they are all- 
important." 

On his examination-in-chief he swore that Dorsey wrote 
those words, and on cross-examination he admitted that he 
wrote every one of those words himself. When he was 
cross-examined he had not the paper before him. His 
memory was not refreshed by the blue pencil mark. So on 
his examination-in-chief he swore that he wrote these words : 

As I was about leaving he 

Meaning the Attorney-General 

said, " Mr. Rerdell, you have put yourself in full accord with us, and 
I have this to say, you shall be well taken care of and your matters 
shall be attended to." 

On cross-examination, on page 2500, he swears that 
Dorsey wrote the words : 

Your matters shall be attended to. 

But he still admitted that he, Rerdell, wrote the words and 
put them in the mouth of the Attorney-General : 

You shall be well taken care of. 

He says in his letter of July 5, 1882 : 

If I had remained with the Government I have every reason to 
believe I would have a good position. 

What next? Mr. Rerdell, in his examination-in-chief, 
swears that he himself wrote these words : 

The next evening I called on Mr. Woodward to see if he had any 
thing more to say, and he told me a place had been found for my 
father-in-law, and to give the application to Senator Clayton ; to 
make the application for the Interior Department, as it was best not 
to put him into the Post-Office Department for fear of criticism ; that 



310 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the appointment should be made at once. It was all arranged. The 
next day I saw Clayton, who said the same thing. 

On cross-examination, at page 2505, he swears that 
Dorsey wrote a part of this ; that Dorsey wrote the following 
words : 

As it was best not to put him into the Post-Office Department for 
fear of criticism. 

When he testified on direct examination he had this 
marked paper before him ; in the absence of the paper, on 
the cross-examination, he takes his solemn oath that he did 
not write it, but that Senator Dorsey did. What confidence 
can you put in that kind of testimony ? I would like to 
have you, gentlemen, some time, or I would like to have 
anybody who has the slightest interest in the thing, read 
this affidavit and see whether it is the work of two or the 
work of one. You let two men write, one writing one 
paragraph and the other another paragraph, and then you 
read it ; there is no man in the world accustomed to read 
books that cannot instantly detect the difference in style, 
the different mode of expression, the different use of 
language. Nobody can see any difference in the writing ; 
nobody can see the slightest difference in the mode of ex 
pression ; the sharpest verbal mechanic that ever lived 
cannot see a joint between these paragraphs. They eman 
ated from the same brain ; they were written by the same 
hand ; and if any man, who has ever read one book clear 
through, will read that, he will see that one person wrote it 
all. But Mr. Bliss tells you that here is a passage that 
shows the handiwork of S. W. Dorsey, because Dorsey was 
a politician : 

He also said that you, Mr. President, had told Mr. Dorsey you 
could not interfere in this investigation and prosecution ; that if you 
did, the public would say that the President and a Secretary, who 
shall be nameless, but whose name I could guess, had taken the 
money of the star-route ring while they were in Congress, or the 
Postmaster-General and Attorney-General had taken it since, and 
therefore he (Dorsey) must look to the courts for vindication. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 311 

That is the passage upon which Mr. Bliss relies, among 
others, to show that this was formed in the brain of S. W. 
Dorsey ; and yet Rerdell swears that that passage he wrote 
himself. It will not do, gentlemen. 

Now, in order that you may know just about how much 
force to give to that, let me read you a little from page 
2379 ; and I read this for the purpose of letting you know 
the ideas that this man Rerdell entertains of right and 
wrong. 

I want you to get at the moral nature of this man ; I 
want you to thoroughly understand him. When you ex 
amine these affidavits, when you think of his testimony, I 
want you to know exactly the kind of nature he has, and I 
want you to remember that he came here upon this stand 
and swore in this case that he did not consider that it was 
wrong to interline petitions ; that he did not think it was 
wrong to fill up affidavits ; and that is the reason he made 
the affidavit of July 13, 1882. Although he then knew 
that these things had been done, still he did not regard 
them as wrong. You see it is worth something to get at a 
man, to get at his philosophy of right and wrong ; it is 
worth something to know how he thinks ; why he acts ; and 
when you have found that out about a man, then you know 
whether to believe him or not. 

I believe the jury did look at this paper and saw all the 
parts that had been marked by blue pencil, and those 
parts, I believe, he said Dorsey wrote. That is the paper 
he had before him at the time he testified in chief. But 
when he came to be cross-examined, not having the paper 
then before his eyes, he swore in very many important 
things exactly the other way. We were all astonished at 
the facility with which he remembered, he pretending to 
know what parts he wrote and what parts Mr. Dorsey 
wrote. I want you to understand this man, and before I 
get through with him, you will. I want you to know him. 



312 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Now we come to an exceedingly important thing in 
this case, in the eyes of the prosecution. It is the principal 
pillar supporting the testimony of Mr. Rerdell. Without 
that pillar absolutely nothing is left, everything falls into 
perjured ruin. 

The first question that arises with regard to the pencil 
memorandum (31 X) is who wrote it, and in order to 
ascertain who wrote it we must take into consideration all 
the facts and circumstances that have been established in 
this case. It is already in evidence, as you remember it, 
that Rerdell kept a route-book. You will also remember 
that Mr. Dorsey had books of his own ; that he had a book 
keeper of his own, Mr. Kellogg ; that Mr. Kellogg swears 
that he kept those books and that nobod)' else ever made a 
scratch of the pen in them ; that he kept them up till the 
fall of 1879; they were then sent to New York; that Mr. 
Torrey took possession of those books on the 2yth of Janu 
ary, 1880, and kept them continuously to the last of April, 
1882, and that nobody else ever put a mark in them. That 
is the evidence. The evidence also is that there was in 
those books a complete mail account. The evidence is also 
that in those books kept by Mr. Kellogg were the charges 
and credits growing out of the purchase of John W. Dor- 
sey's interest and Peck's interest in the mail routes. 

Mr. MERRICK. Pardon me; point me to that evidence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I will refer to it hereafter. I do not 
wonder, gentlemen, that they dislike this pencil memo 
randum. 

Mr. MERRICK. No, sir; I only want to keep you within 
correct limits. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I understand that. I do not blame any 
body for disliking that pencil memorandum. 

Mr. MERRICK. You can convict Rerdell as much as you 
like. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. When you come to show that he is 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

guilty his countenance will light up with the transfigura 
tion of joy. There will be no more delighted auditor than 
Mr. Rerdell when his crimes are painted blackest. It 
shows you the moral nature of the man. 

Now, as I say, the evidence is that there was a route- 
book kept ; that that route book contained all the informa 
tion that Mr. Dorsey or any one else would want about the 
routes themselves ; consequently, that there was no pro 
priety in keeping any other set of books. Mr. Rerdell 
could keep books for himself, but not for S. W. Dorsey. 
Dorsey had a set of books, and had another book-keeper. 
Why should he have another set opened by Rerdell ? Rer 
dell kept a route-book that gave him all the information 
that he could possibly desire. 

Mr. WILSON. Rerdell did not handle the money. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Of course not ; there was no money at 
that time to handle; they had not got as far as the handle. 

Now, there is another little point : Why should Dorsey 
voluntarily put himself in the power of Rerdell by saying, 
"I have paid money to Brady"? What was the necessity 
of it ? What was the sense of it ? Rerdell was his clerk. 
Why should he take pains to put himself, the employer, 
absolutely in the power of his clerk ? Why should he take 
pains to make himself the slave of the man he was hiring 
by the month ? Why did he wish not only to make Mr. 
Rerdell acquainted with his crime, but to put in the hands 
of Rerdell evidence written by himself ? See, gentlemen ; 
you have got to look at everything from a natural stand 
point. Of what use was it to Mr. Dorsey to keep that ac 
count ? Dorsey at that time had no partner. Dorsey at 
that time did not have to respond to anybody. Of what 
use was it to him to put down in a book, "I paid Brady 
eighteen thousand dollars"? Was he afraid Brady would 
forget it ? Was he afraid he would forget it ? Did he want 
his clerk to help him keep the secret, knowing that if the 



314 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

secret got wings it would render him infamous? Let us 
have some sense. The Government introduced it. They 
also introduced a witness to prove that it was in Dorsey's 
writing. Rerdell swore that it was. Their next witness, 
Boone, thought part of it might be and part might not be ; 
it did not look right to him ; he rather intimated that Mr. 
Rerdell wrote part of it. And right there the Government 
dropped. No expert was brought. There were plenty of 
experts right over here at the Bureau of Engraving and 
Printing, plenty of experts in Philadelphia and New York, 
plenty of judges of handwriting. Right up here in Con 
gress were twenty or thirty Senators who sat for six years 
in the Senate with Stephen W. Dorsey, served on the same 
committees with him and had seen him write every day ; 
clerks of those committees who had copied page after page 
of his writing. Not one of them was called. The Govern 
ment, with its almost infinite power, with everything at its 
command, brought no expert. That was the most import 
ant piece of paper in their case. And yet they allowed 
their own witness to discredit it ; their own witness swore, 
in fact, that Rerdell had manufactured the incriminating 
part of it. And yet they sent for no expert to swear to 
this writing. Don't you believe that they talked with 
somebody ? Has not each one of you in his mind a reason 
why they did not bring the ones that they talked with ? 
They left it right there without another word. Now, why ? 
Simply because they could get no man to swear, except 
Rerdell, that this is in the handwriting of S. W. Dorsey. 
That is the reason. 

You know that Rerdell "kept this as a voucher." What 
for ? Was any money paid out on it ? No. Was it a re 
ceipt for any money ? No. But he " kept it as a voucher." 
You see he was in a difficulty. How did he come to keep 
it all this time ? It would hardly do for him to say that 
he did not try to keep it, that it had just been in the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 315 

waste-basket of forgetfulness, and had suddenly come to 
life by a conspiracy of chance and awkwardness. It 
would not do for him to say that he made it. So that he 
had to say that he kept it, and then he had to give a reason 
for keeping it. What was the reason ? He said he " kept 
it for a voucher." I suppose you [addressing Mr. Greene, 
a juror] have kept books. Is that what you would call a 
voucher? Yet that is the reason the poor man had to 
give. I pitied the man when he got to the point. I am of 
such a nature that I cannot entirely, absolutely, and per 
fectly hate anybody, and when I see the worst man in 
trouble I do not enjoy it much ; at least I am soon satis 
fied, and would like to see him out of it. Here he was 
swearing that he had this for a voucher. 

Now, there are some little things about this to which I 
will call your attention. Here is the name of J. H. Mitchell. 
An account was opened with Mitchell, but he does not tell 
him to charge Mitchell with anything; there is nothing 
opposite Mitchell's name. How would he open an account 
with Mitchell without anything to be charged against him 
or to be credited ? He put in the index of the book, " J. 
H. Mitchell, page 21." You turn over to page 21, and you 
find Mitchell debtor to nothing, creditor the same silence. 
Not a cent opposite the name on either side. Mitchell was 
not an employe. Mitchell was not a fellow that they were 
to have an account with by the day. Then John Smith is 
rubbed out and Samuel Jones written under it. Rerdell 
says he wrote Samuel Jones. I say he did not. I want 
you to look at it after awhile and see whether he wrote it 
or not. 

Now, gentlemen, it so happened that when this pencil 
memorandum was introduced it struck me that the M. C. R. 
looked a great deal like Rerdell's handwriting, and you will 
remember that I suggested it instantly, and said to the 
jury, " Look at the M. C. R." Now, gentlemen of the jury, 



316 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

I want you to look at that M. C. R. ; I want you to see how 
the first line of the M. is brought around to the middle of 
the letter, and then I want you to see exactly how the C. 
and the R. are made. Take it, Mr. Foreman, and look at it 
carefully. And, in connection with that pencil memorandum 
(31 X), I will ask the jury also to look at this settlement 
with John W. Dorsey, made in 1879 ^7 ^), and compare 
the initials M. C. R. where they occur on both papers. M. 
C. R. occurs twice, I believe, on this (87 X.) Now look 
at the formation of the M. C. R. on both papers, Mr. 
Lowery, and do a good job of looking, too. 

Now, gentlemen, this is one of the most valuable pieces 
of paper I have ever had in this case, and it is as good luck 
as ever happened. I want you to look at the J. W. D. on 
that paper, and then compare it with the J. W. D. on this 
paper ; you cannot spend your time better. 

I did not suppose I would ever find one paper that would 
have everything on it. But, as if there had been a conspir 
acy as to this paper, there is an S. W. D. on this paper 
which is substantially the same as the S. W. D. on the 
other. The M. C. R., the S. W. D., and the J. W. D. on 
both these papers are all substantially the same, and I 
think when the jury have looked at it they will say they 
were written by the same hand. 

Now, gentlemen, there was the testimony of Mr. Boone 
that he thinks the upper portion of this pencil memoran 
dum (31 X) was written by S. W. Dorsey ; that it looks 
like his handwriting down to and including " profit and 
loss," I believe ; I may be mistaken ; it may be down to 
" cash ; " and then after " profit and loss " come the names 
of J. H. Mitchell and J. W. D., exactly the same J. W. D. 
that appears on 87 X. 

Now, what paper is that 87 X ? That is an account of 
John W. Dorsey against S. W. Dorsey in 1879. He had 
been out West to take care of some of the routes, and when 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 317 

he came back he settled, and Mr. Rerdell wrote up the ac 
count. That is 87 X, and I proved that it was made in 
1879. I believe the prosecution thought at first that it was 
1878. 

That paper shows that it was manufactured by the one 
who wrote this paper, and by nobody else. 

Now, as I said before, there is no account against J. H. 
Mitchell. Opposite William Smith there are the figures 
eighteen thousand. And Rerdell says that he wrote Samuel 
Jones himself at the suggestion of Mr. Dorsey. Again I 
ask you, gentlemen, why would Mr. Dorsey give such a 
paper to Rerdell ? Why would he give him this false 
name? Why would he put himself in his power? It is 
very natural that he should give the amounts ten thousand 
five hundred dollars, ten thousand dollars for John W. Dor 
sey and ten thousand dollars for Peck, because the evi 
dence shows that those transactions actually occurred. The 
evidence shows, not only in one place but in many, that the 
ten thousand dollars was paid to John W. Dorsey, the ten 
thousand dollars was paid to Peck, and that the ten thou 
sand five hundred dollars was advanced at that time by S. 
W. Dorsey. Consequently that is natural ; it is proper. 
But my opinion is that he never wrote one word, one line 
of the pencil memorandum. It was all made, every mark 
upon it, by Mr. Rerdell. He is the man that made it. Did 
he have it when he went to MacVeagh ? No. Did he 
have it when he went to the Postmaster-General ? No. Did 
he have it when he went to Woodward ? No. Did he have it 
vvhen he made his affidavit in July, 1882 ? No ; or he would 
not have made it. Did he have it when he went to Mr. Wood 
ward in September ? No ; or else Mr. Woodward would have 
taken the stand and sworn to it. Did he have it when he 
made his affidavit in November ? I say no. Who made 
it ? Rerdell manufactured it for this purpose : That he 
might have something to dispose of to this Government ; 



318 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that he might have something to swap for immunity. He 
" kept it as a voucher." 

Why did not these gentlemen bring Senator Mitchell to 
show that he had some account with Senator Dorsey in 
May, 1879? Why did not the Government bring Mr. 
Mitchell ? They knew that their witness had to be cor 
roborated. They knew that the law distinctly says that 
such a witness cannot be believed unless he is corroborated. 
They also know that the law is that unless such a witness is 
wholly corroborated he cannot be believed ; that you are 
not allowed to pick the raisins of truth out of the pudding 
of his perjury. You must believe him all or not at all. 
He must be received entire by the jury, or with the foot of 
indignation he must be kicked from the threshold of be 
lief. They know it. Why did they not bring Senator 
Mitchell to show that he had some account with 
S. W. Dorsey in 1879 ? But we heard not a word from 
them. 

What more ? Rerdell says that was either in April, be 
fore he went West, or in May, after his return ; and at that 
time, according to his testimony that is, according to this 
memorandum eighteen thousand dollars had been paid to 
Mr. Brady for expedition. And then following, in the 
month of June, before the quarter ended, eighteen thousand 
dollars more. That makes thirty-six thousand dollars 
paid to Brady. What else ? Ten thousand dollars to John 
W. Dorsey; forty-six thousand dollars that makes. Ten 
thousand dollars paid to Peck ; fifty-six thousand dollars 
that makes. He had also advanced himself ten thousand 
five hundred dollars ; that makes sixty-six thousand five 
hundred dollars advanced, and not a dollar yet received 
from the Government. And that by a man who gave away 
seventy per cent, of a magnificent conspiracy because he 
had not the money to go on. All you have to do is to think 
about this. Just think of the situation of the parties at the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 319 

time. I tell you I am going to stick to this subject until 
you understand it. 

Mr. Gibbs swears that the name of Mitchell was not in 
the books when he saw them, and yet those books were 
opened from this memorandum. Gibbs is the man who has 
such a control over his mind that he can " try not to re 
member." When I was a boy I used to hear a story of a 
man going around saying that nobody could control his 
mind for a minute ; that nobody could think of one thing 
for a minute without thinking of something else. But there 
was one fellow who said, " I can ; I can think of a thing a 
minute and not think of anything else." He was told, " If 
you do it, I will give you my horse, and he is the best 
riding-horse in the country ; if you can say the first verse 
of ' Mary had a little lamb,' and not think of anything else, I 
will give you my horse, and he is the best, riding-horse in the 
country." The fellow says, " How will you tell ? " " Oh, 
I will take your word for it." So the fellow shut up his 
eyes and said : 

Mary had a little lamb, 

Its fleece was white as snow, 
And everywhere that 

" I suppose you will throw in the saddle and bridle ? " 
Mr. Gibbs is the man who had such control of his mind, 
and he tells you that the name of J. H. Mitchell was not in 
the book. 

Mr. Donnelly says he does not remember any such name 
as J. H. Mitchell, and yet he holds an office. He has the 
poorest memory for any one under the present Administra 
tion, I ever saw. He does not remember the name of J. H. 
Mitchell. Who does remember it ? Mr. Rerdell. But Mr. 
Rerdell does not say what he had charged to J. H. Mitchell ; 
he does not say what was in the book as against J. H. 
Mitchell ; he fights clear of that charge. And why ? He 
was afraid that John H. Mitchell might testify. According, 



320 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

I think, to Mr. Rerdell, there was a charge against Belford 
on those books. I do not know why Belford's name did 
not appear on the memorandum, but I will come to Belford 
afterwards. 

Mr. BLISS. Mr. Ingersoll, Mr. Donnelly does not mention 
in any way and is not asked on the subject of Mr. Mitchell. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I think he is. I will find it after awhile 
if I can, and if I cannot I will admit that you are right. I 
do not know where it is. I do not wish to be interrupted. 

Mr. BLISS. I claim the right. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Well, go on ; the poor man only had 
seven days in which to make his speech. 

Mr. BLISS. I have before me Mr. Donnelly's evidence, 
and he does not mention the name of Mitchell in any 
manner, and is not asked about it, so far as I can see. I 
think when the statement is persisted in there should be 
some reference given to the page. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It is on page 2637. 

Mr. DAVIDGE. And at page 2639, about two inches from 
the top. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It is sufficient for my purpose, which 
is this : That he gave the names of all the accounts he could 
remember, and in that list of names he did not give the 
name of J. H. Mitchell. So I think I can fairly say to you 
that that man did not remember any account against J. H. 
Mitchell. Mr. Gibbs was asked directly whether there was 
any account against J. H. Mitchell, and he did not remem 
ber any such. Now, the only person that swears to it at all 
is Mr. Rerdell. Then you come across this contradiction : 
Why should the name of J. H. Mitchell be there with noth 
ing opposite to it ? I do not know. The prosecution, of 
course, will be able to find writing of S. W. Dorsey that 
will resemble some of the writing on this pencil memoran 
dum. There is no doubt about that. If it was written by 
Rerdell in imitation of Dorsey's writing, it is not surprising 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 3^3 

that writing really written by Dorsey can be found that 
looks like it. Why ? Because it was written in imitation 
of his writing, and therefore you can find writing of Dor 
sey's that looks like it ; otherwise it would not be an imita 
tion. The next question arises, Can you find writing 
of Rerdell's that looks like it ? Yes ; 87 X. The M. C. R., 
the S. W. D., and the J. W. D. are all exactly like it. Now, 
is it not infinitely surprising that Dorsey should imitate 
Rerdell without trying and without an object ? Is it not 
perfectly wonderful that this memorandum should be in im 
itation of Rerdell's writing, when it was written by Dorsey ? 
But if it was forged by Rerdell, it is not wonderful that it 
looks like Dorsey's writing. If Dorsey wrote it without 
thinking of Rerdell, I say the accident is infinitely wonder 
ful that he imitated Rerdell. Which is the more probable 
that Dorsey imitated Rerdell without design and without 
trying, or that Rerdell imitated Dorsey with a design, and 
when trying to do so ? That is the way to put this argu 
ment, and I hope the gentlemen will answer it. The in 
genuity that would be displayed in the answer would a 
thousand times pay me for the loss of the point. I want 
them to account for this, how Dorsey's natural handwriting 
comes to look like Rerdell's, and how it is that this looks 
precisely like Rerdell's in many instances. Why is it, gen 
tlemen ? I will tell you. Mr. Rerdell had written the 
initials J. W. D., S. W. D., and M. C. R. so often that when 
he came to put them upon this memorandum he forgot to 
disguise his hand. That is the reason. You find on 87 X the 
J. W. D. precisely as it is on the pencil memorandum. You 
find the M. C. R. precisely as it is on the pencil memorandum. 
You see if you have done the same thing many times with 
your hand, the hand gets a mind of its own. It is in that 
way that you learn to play upon the piano. The hand be 
comes educated and follows the keys through all the mazes 
of melody without asking one question of the mind. You 



322 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

can write a name so often, you can make initials so often, 
that when you come to write them, no matter what your 
object is, the hand, educated with a mind of its own, pur 
sues the old accustomed motions and paths. That is the 
reason that J. W. D. and S. W. D. and M. C. R. are exactly 
in the handwriting of Rerdell in this pencil memorandum. 
According to that, Dorsey had paid out in all, I think, about 
$65.000, or something like that. There is no truth in it, 
gentlemen. 

Now, in order to prepare your mind for the next point I 
am going to make, and in order that you may know some 
thing about this man Rerdell, I will give you some further 
information about him. I do not think you are sufficiently 
acquainted with his character, and any little points that I 
have I want to give to you. I want to paint his portrait in 
every lineament, every mark. I want to give you every 
hair in his head. Remember that this witness is to be cor 
roborated. He is to be propped and indorsed. Everybody 
admits that he is the pewter of perjury and has to be plated 
with the silver of respectability gotten from somebody else. 
They all admit that. He is an empty bag. Somebody has 
to fill him up before he can stand upright. They admit 
that. I want to call your attention to a few things as to 
which he lacked corroboration. 

On page 2215, Rerdell swears that Miner told him that 
the amounts in the bids were filled in by S. W. Dorsey. 
On page 4177 Miner denies this, and says that he filled in 
the bids with only two exceptions. 

On page 2216 Rerdell swears that the mail matter for 
J. W. Dorsey, Peck, and Miner was handed him by S. 
W. Dorsey, and that Dorsey said that he was going to take 
the business out of Boone's hands. On page 3766, Dor 
sey swears that he had no such conversation with 
Rerdell. 

On page 2217, Rerdell swears that S. W. Dorsey applied 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 323 

to him to go West. On page 3768 Dorsey swears that he 
did not employ him to go West. 

On page 2218, Rerdell swears that he received instructions 
from S. W. Dorsey as to what to do on the Bismarck route. 
On page 3769, S. W. Dorsey swears that that is utterly 
untrue. 

On page 2219, Rerdell says that he was instructed to es 
tablish a paper post-office sixty miles north of the route. 
What was that for ? According to his testimony there was 
a mistake in the advertisement, and the route was too long, 
and this was a device to shorten it by adding sixty miles to 
it to make a post-office thirty miles off the route, or sixty 
altogether, so as to get pay for the increase of distance. 
If it was to be a fraud, why put the post-office off the route ? 
Why not have it on the route ? Where would the fraud be 
if they traveled the sixty miles except in having a post- 
office where none was needed ? They certainly would make 
nothing from the Government by traveling the sixty miles. 
If they traveled the sixty miles they would be paid for that 
sixty miles, but if they wanted pay for the sixty miles 
without traveling that sixty miles, they would not have put 
the post-office so far off the route. They would have put it 
on the route, or very near to it, and pretended that it was off 
the route. 

Gentlemen, it is infinitely absurd to suppose that Stephen 
W. Dorsey would have instructed that man to go out in 
that country and get up a false post-office. How long 
would a fraud like that last and live ? How long could the 
money be drawn for that service in that country ? They 
say no human being lived there. Who was to be post 
master? Who was to make the reports? How long, in 
your judgment, would it be before the department would 
find out that there was no such post-office, no postmaster, 
and no mail ? No one could think of a more shallow de 
vice than that Stephen W. Dorsey, a man who is blest 



324 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

with as much brain as any man it is my pleasure to know, 
would never dream of such an idiotic device. And yet, 
that is the testimony of Mr. Rerdell. 

It may be that Mr. Rerdell when he got out there thought 
he could start a town and make money in some other way. 
But it will not do to say that Stephen W. Dorsey told him 
to get up a false and fraudulent post-office when Mr. 
Dorsey must have known that the mail could not have been 
carried to it but a few days before it would have become known 
that there was no such office. They would have to appoint 
a postmaster and he would have to live there in his loneli 
ness a hermit of the plain, and would have to make a report 
like that from Agate that gave such delight to Mr. Bliss to 
read. There was not a letter sent to that place ; not one, 
nor would there be. Mr. Dorsey knew if there was a post 
master appointed he would have to report, and in three 
months from that time he would have to report, first, that 
there was no post-office ; second, that there had never been 
any mail ; and third, that he did not expect any. You see 
it is utterly absurd to lay such a charge at the door of 
Stephen W. Dorsey. 

On page 3769 Dorsey swears that the statement is a false 
hood that he never did any such thing. He also denies it 
on page 3924. 

On page 2220 Rerdell swears that he gave Pennell a peti 
tion for a post-office. On page 2156 Joseph Pennell swears 
that he never saw the petition ; and on page 2171 that he 
never signed it, and that none was sent. 

On page 2221 Rerdell swears that he was instructed by 
S. W. Dorsey to build stations fifteen or sixteen miles apart, 
and use every third station. On page 3769 S. W. Dorsey 
swears that no such instructions were given. On page 4092 
J. W. Dorsey swears that they started to build the stations 
about thirty miles apart, and that after he saw General 
Miles and was told by that officer that there would be, and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 325 

must be a daily mail, then he concluded to build stations 
between the stations that he had built going over. 

That is a sensible, straight story. When he went out 
they built the stations some thirty-odd miles apart, and 
when he talked with General Miles, General Miles told him 
that there must be a daily service, and then he determined 
to build intermediate stations as he went back. What was 
that testimony sworn to by Rerdell for ? To make you 
believe, gentlemen, that Stephen W. Dorsey when he sent 
Rerdell out knew that there was to be expedition, and knew 
it because he was in conspiracy with the Second Assistant 
Postmaster-General. The testimony of John W. Dorsey 
lets the light in upon that story. The sun rises, and the 
mist goes. What is his story ? "I went there and built 
the stations about thirty miles apart, and when I talked with 
General Miles he assured me that there must be expedition 
and a daily mail, and then I built stations at the intermedi 
ate points as we went back." That is the story. It is con 
sistent with itself. 

Is it not wonderful that the Government did not also 
prove by Pennell that Rerdell gave him instructions to 
build the ranches, and told him that he had been so in 
structed by S. W. Dorsey ? 

On page 2233 Rerdell swears that Miner told him that 
Vaile was close to Brady. On page 4177, Miner swears 
that it is not true ; that he never had any such conversation. 
Why did they want a man close to Brady ? As I explained 
to you before, gentlemen, they had already, according to 
their testimony, as they claim, proved that Miner had con 
spired with Brady, and yet he was going around trying to 
find a man close to Brady. Being a co-conspirator was not 
close enough. So Mr. Rerdell is corroborated there again 
by Mr. Miner who swears that what Rerdell swears is a lie. 

On page 2224 Rerdell swears that in November, 1878, 
Miner asked him to write certain words in a line on petition 



$26 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

40104. On page 4178, Miner swears that lie never asked 
him to interline any petition. 

On page 2225 Rerdell swears he had a conversation with 
Vaile and Miner on the 2oth of December, 1878, at the 
National Hotel, about his employment, and that he had a 
great many conversations there. On page 4020, Vaile 
swears that there never was any such conversation. On 
page 402 1, Vaile also swears that he has no recollection of 
such a conversation then or at anytime. On page 4178, 
Miner swears that the talk was between Rerdell and him 
self, and that Vaile was not there. 

On page 2225 Rerdell swears that Vaile told him that the 
mail service they had ought to reach six hundred thousand 
or seven hundred thousand dollars. On page 4021, Vaile 
swears that he does not think he ever said any such thing 
does not think it was possible that he ever said any such 
thing. On page 4179 Miner swears that Vaile never made 
any such statement in his presence. 

On page 2226 Rerdell swears that at the instance of Vaile 
and Miner he went West, January 4, 1879, to put service on 
the Rawlins route. On 4022 Vaile swears that Rerdell did 
not go West at his instance ; that Miner gave him, Rerdell, 
a subcontract for the entire pay, for the whole term, and 
that Rerdell undertook it on hfs own behalf. On 4179 Miner 
swears that he made the arrangements with Rerdell himself. 

On page 2227 Rerdell says that Vaile and Miner both 
told him that the service would be increased right away, 
and to make subcontracts with that in view. On page 4180 
Miner swears that he gave him no such directions, and that 
Rerdell did all he did on his own responsibility, and that 
Vaile did not give him any such authority. It is for you to 
say., gentlemen, which of these men you will believe. 

On page 2228 Rerdell swears that in March, 1879, he had 
a conversation with Vaile about an affidavit, and received 
instructions from Vaile or Miner. On page 4024 Vaile 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL, 327 

swears that he recollects no such conversation and does not 
think he ever had it. 

On page 2228 Rerdell swears that Vaile said in the 
presence of Miner that he could get Brady to accept an 
affidavit from a subcontractor. On page 4024 Vaile swears 
that he is very sure that he did not say so, and that he 
never asked Brady any such question. On page 4182 Miner 
swears that he never made any such statement in Vaile's 
presence. 

On page 2228 Rerdell swears that a day or two after 
Vaile says he had seen Brady, and that Brady had agreed 
to accept an affidavit from a subcontractor. On page 4024 
Vaile denies this. 

On the same page, 2228, Rerdell swears that he was in 
structed by Vaile and Miner to write to Perkins and get 
him to send his affidavit. On page 4024 Vaile swears, 
"Never!" that he did not know Perkins was a subcon 
tractor. On page 4182 Miner swears that he has no recol 
lection of it, and that he never instructed Rerdell to send 
any form of affidavit to Mr. Perkins. 

On page 2230 Rerdell swears that Miner wrote a form of 
affidavit. On page 4182 Miner swears that he has no recol 
lection of it, and that he never instructed Rerdell to send 
any form to Perkins. As a matter of fact the Perkins 
affidavit is in the handwriting of Rerdell. Yet he tells you 
that Miner wrote the form. It will not do. 

On page 2231 Rerdell swears that he filled in blanks under 
the direction of S. W. Dorsey that is, of the Perkins affi 
davit and filed it under the direction of S. W. Dorsey. On 
page 3793 Dorsey swears that he never knew there was such 
an affidavit, and that he never gave such instructions ; and 
more than that, that he never at any time or place gave Rer 
dell authority to change any affidavit or any petition that was 
to be filed. 

On page 2233 Rerdell swears he was instructed te make 



328 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the subcontract without any reference to expedition/and 
that he, Dorsey, would guarantee the payments if they 
were not filed. On page 3771 S. W. Dorsey swears that 
he gave him no such instructions. 

On page 2234 Rerdell swears that affidavits of Peck and 
Dorsey were acknowledged in blank. On page 4189 Miner 
swears that so far as he remembers they were filled in 
before they were signed. 

Again, it may be proper for me to say here : Why did 
not the Government call J. S. Taylor, the notary of New 
Mexico, to prove that the affidavits were in blank when 
they were sworn to by John M. Peck? Why did they 
not ? The law presumes that every officer has done his 
duty, and when we find at the foot of an affidavit the certi 
ficate of a notary public the law presumes that the paper 
above it was in the precise condition at the time the 
certificate was placed there in which it is then. That is 
the presumption of law, and there is only one way to over 
come that presumption. You must prove to the contrary. 
One of the easiest ways on earth to do that is to bring the 
officer. They did not bring J. S. Taylor here from New 
Mexico, the man before whom Peck acknowledged the 
affidavit in this case. It would have been easy to have 
him come, and to have asked him whether Peck did not 
swear to all these affidavits in blank. They did not call 
him. They had him here once and that was enough. 
They did not call him this time. They did not call Rufus 
Wainwright, of Middlebury, Vermont. He is the officer 
before whom John W. Dorsey swore to these affidavits. 
The gentlemen of the prosecution say the affidavits 
were in blank, and yet they dare not put upon the 
stand the notary before whom they were sworn to. It 
was not because they did not think of it. It was not 
because they had not the money. The Government 
had money by the million and agents by the thou- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 329 

sand. You recollect how they tried to prove the 
destruction of those dispatches in the Western Union 
office. You recollect how they brought here the super 
intendent, how they brought here agent after agent, how 
they brought here the man that went around and collected 
the dispatches, and the man that drove the wagon, and 
the man that owned the wagon, and the boys that 
received the dispatches on the street, and the man in 
the cellar that received them after they got there, 
and the man that bought them, and the book-keeper that 
made out the check to pay for them. They brought the 
man that receipted for them at the railroad, and they fol 
lowed them from the railroad to Holyoke, Massachusetts, 
and brought the superintendent of the factory and the 
books of the railroad to show they had arrived. They 
followed those dispatches from paper to pulp and yet it 
never occurred to them to send to Middlebury and get 
Rufus Wainwright. They never thought to have J. S. 
Taylor subpoenaed from New Mexico. They had all the 
conveniences of modern civilization at their command and 
yet they never thought of getting Wainwright or Taylor. 

On page 3771 S. W. Dorsey swears that he never in 
structed Rerdell to get any affidavits in blank. On pages 
4126, and 4107, J. W. Dorsey swears that he made none in 
blank ; that he has no recollection of any such thing. 
On page 2240, Rerdell swears that he had a conversation 
with S. W. Dorsey about getting blank affidavits. On 
page 3771 S. W. Dorsey denies it. On page 2241 Rerdell 
swears that S. W. Dorsey instructed him to make up the 
affidavit on route 41119 and gave him the per cent, of the 
increase of pay. What does he say there ? From one 
hundred and fifty to two hundred per cent. 

Mr. MERRICK. That was afterwards corrected. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I thank you for the suggestion. That 
happened on Friday. We adjourned until the next Mon- 



330 CLOSING ADDRESS IS SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL, 

day morning, He came in the next Monday morning, 
and he said that he had made a mistake, and that it ought 
to be from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty 
per cent. I immediately went and got the affidavits on the 
Toquerville route, because I said the percentage must be 
over two hundred per cent, in that affidavit or he would 
not have changed. I found in the affidavit that it was two 
hundred and fifty-five per cent., and I found that was why 
he changed. I followed that out, and I found that was 
the same route upon which Mr. Rerdell stole nearly five 
thousand dollars, according to the testimony of S. W. 
Dorsey, and Rerdell did not deny it. So much for Toquer 
ville and Adairville., We will come to it again perhaps. 

Let me give the pages where all these matters are 
found. On page 3772 Dorsey denies the conversation 
about the affidavits, and also on page 3773. Rerdell's, 
change of his evidence will be found on page 2277. 

On page 2243 Rerdell swears that while he was in jail 
S. W. Dorsey had a key to what he called his, Rerdell's, 
office. On page 3735 S. W. Dorsey swears that he never 
had a key to Rerdell's office, and that he never was in the 
office but twice, both times with Rerdell, and that he never 
took a paper out of the office except what Rerdell gave 
him. It will also be remembered that when Rerdell was 
asked in his examination-in-chief whether anybody had a 
key to his office he replied that S. W. Dorsey had a key to 
his office. He did not at that time state that his wife had 
a key. Why ? Because he wanted it understood that S. 
W. Dorsey was the only person that had a key, and that 
S. W. Dorsey, while Rerdell was in jail, went to that office 
and opened it and robbed it. On cross-examination I 
made him swear that his wife had a key, and we afterwards 
found that his wife went there. He knew she had a key. 
Still, in his cross-examination, when asked who had a key, 
he said S. W. Dorsey. What was that for, gentlemen? 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL, 33! 

So that you would Infer that S. W. Dorsey was the only 
person who had a key, and that he went there and robbed 
that office, as I said before. On pages 2634 and 2635 Mrs. 
Cushman swears that she went to Rerdell's office with Mrs. 
Rerdell. When ? About six o'clock in the morning. 
And that they found the office open ? No. They found 
the office locked, but found papers in a confused condition, 
and took away some papers. They were there about 
fifteen minutes. Recollect this was the third morning that 
Rerdell was in jail. Rerdell went to jail Monday evening. 
That made the visit of Mrs. Cushman and Mrs. Rerdell on 
Thursday morning, and they went there at six o'clock. 
Keep that in mind. Rerdell got out of jail on Friday. 
George A. Calvert, the janitor, visited every room fre 
quently. His testimony is on page 2672. He swears he 
found the door of Rerdell's room unlocked. When ? The 
day before Rerdell got out of jail. What time of day ? In 
the morning. What morning was that ? Thursday morn 
ing. When did Rerdell get out of jail ? Friday morning. 
When did Mrs. Rerdell and Mrs. Cushman visit the room ? 
Thursday morning. What time in the morning? Six 
o'clock. When did Calvert find the room open ? That 
same morning. The women swear that when they went 
there the room was locked. Now the question arises, who 
opened it ? The women. That is all there is to that. 

Mrs. Rerdell, on page 2635, swears she got the key on 
the second day after Rerdell's incarceration, in the evening. 
That would be Wednesday evening. She used it the next 
morning, Thursday. 

On page 2247 Rerdell swears that on the 2oth of Decem 
ber, 1878, Vaile promised him a good salary. On page 
4021 Vaile swears that he has no recollection of any such 
promise. That is what they call corroboration. On page 
2348 Rerdell swears that in May, 1879, S. W. Dorsey said, 
"You know that John is a man of very little judgment. 



332 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

He does not know how to talk to these contractors." On 
page 3773 S. W. Dorsey swears that there never was any 
such conversation. 

On page 2249 Rerdell swears, " As secretary and mana 
ger, I kept the books for a short time." On page 3636 W. 
F. Kellogg swears that he, Kellogg had entire charge of 
Dorsey 's books from the summer of 1872 to the fall of 1879, 
and that nobody else ever made a scratch of a pen in those 
books. On page 2270 Rerdell swears that Dorsey and Bos- 
ler were having a settlement in New York and sent for the 
books, and that he took the original books over and left 
them there, and that he went over to New York in June, 
1 88 1, and saw both books there and brought the journal 
over and left the ledger. On page 3955 Dorsey swears that 
the first settlement he had with Bosler was in December, 
1879, or January, 1880. Rerdell swears that the time he 
got the copy made of his journal by the Gibbses, was 
between Christmas, 1879, and 1880. Dorsey swears there 
was not another settlement until November, 1882. The 
first settlement being in 1879, an d Rerdell swearing that 
he took the books over for a settlement, shows that he 
did not have them here in Washington to be copied at the 
time he says and at the time other people swear that they 
copied them. 

On page 3788 S. W. Dorsey swears that he never sent 
for any transcript, and that he, Dorsey, referred to the 
route-book, and that Rerdell never sent any such book or 
books as he claimed. On page 2271 Rerdell swears that 
he gave copies of the journal to Dorsey in June, 1881. 
That was the time that he made the affidavit. His lan 
guage by any natural interpretation means that he handed 
those copies over to Dorsey at the time he made the affi 
davit on the 2oth of June, 1881. On page 3988 Dorsey 
swears that he did not, and on page 3785 he again swears 
that he never had them. On page 3784 he again swears 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 333 

that Rerdell never brought any book to him except the 
route-book. On page 2271 Rerdell swears that Dorsey, on 
the 1 3th of May, 1879, told him to make up a statement of 
the routes showing the profits, and that he thinks he gave it 
to Bosler. On page 3875 Dorsey swears that he never made 
up any such statement by his direction, and that he never 
gave Rerdell such an order. Why should he ? According 
to Rerdell 's own statement, in which there is not a particle of 
truth, Dorsey, on the i3th of May, 1879, that very day, had 
written a letter to Bosler, in which he told him about the 
profits, about how much it had cost him, and about how 
much it would cost him, and about how much the profits 
would be, and how much he paid to Brady. After writing 
such a letter to Bosler, containing all the facts, why would 
he want Rerdell to make up a statement that was already 
in the letter itself ? Nobody can answer. There is not 
genius enough in this world to make the answer. 

On page 2272 Rerdell swears that he saw 7 B, which is a 
petition, in 1879, and that there were three words in his 
own handwriting that were not there when he first saw it, 
the three words being " and faster time." He also swears 
that he was instructed to put them in by S. W. Dorsey. I 
now say that Mr. Rerdell never wrote those three words. 
On page 783 it appears that 7 B was filed April 18, 1879. 
On page 3786 S. W. Dorsey swears that Rerdell's state 
ment is false. I will now turn to the testimony of George 
Sears about the petition, 7 B, which Mr. Rerdell swears 
was altered by interlineation or the addition of three words, 
" and faster time." The page is 829. 

Here comes a witness of the Government, apparently a 
good and honest man, and he swears that the words " and 
faster time " were in that petition when he signed it. I 
will take his word for it. I will take his guess as against 
the other man's oath. 

On page 2273 Rerdell swears that he altered n B and 12 



334 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

B by instructions of S. W. Dorsey. Now, gentlemen, 
Stephen W. Dorsey got such a momentum of crime on him 
and got running at such a rate that he could not stop, and 
whenever a petition came in he had it altered without read 
ing it. It did not make a bit of difference what the peti 
tion asked for. He just said to his clerk, " Look and see if 
there is not any line you can add something to. I want 
something put in it, and I want it put in now." Mr. Rer- 
dell says he did these things without any thought. He 
just made the changes as he was told, without considering 
whether it was right or wrong. He told you here on the 
stand that at one time he was requested to get a petition, 
and he had a lot of names on hand, and so he just wrote a 
petition and stuck the names to it. He could not even re 
member the route it was on. It was a matter of so little 
importance that he did not charge his memory with it. He 
was told to get a petition in the regular way, and instead of 
doing that he said he took some names that he had and 
just wrote a petition and stuck the names on, because that 
was easier ; and it was a matter of so little importance he 
really did not remember. He was like the gentleman in 
Texas who was tried for murder, but did not remember the 
name of the man he killed; he did not charge his mind 
with it. 

Now for 1 1 B : 

Hon. D. M. KEY, Postmaster- General : 

We, the undersigned, citizens of the State of Colorado, residing 
near and getting our mail at Muddy Creek post-office, on route 38135, 
from Pueblo to Greenhorn, respectfully represent 

I never noticed before that the " p" is interlined in the 
word " represent." I have no doubt that was done by order 
of Dorsey 

that it is necessary that the service on said route should be increased 
from two trips per week to six trips per week, and a faster schedule. 
This section of the country is being rapidly settled by people of intel 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 335 

ligence, and we ask the increased service for the benefit of us who 
have already made our homes here, and also as an inducement to 
others to settle. We also request that the schedule time be reduced 
so as to run from Pueblo to Greenhorn in eight hours, so that citizens 
along the route may get their mail at a seasonable hour. 

I have read the petition as it was in the first place. The 
Government tells you that after that petition came here, 
and after it had been submitted to Stephen W. Dorsey, he 
told his clerk to add in the first part of the words "on 
quicker time;" and yet if he had read the last paragraph 
he would have seen quicker time was there called for. Rer- 
dell says Dorsey told him to insert the words " on quicker 
time," and when I read this last paragraph to him he was 
stuck. Then what did he say ? When he got into that 
little corner and was looking for a mouse-hole, he said he 
didn't read it and didn't know it was there. Do you believe 
that a man like Stephen W. Dorsey would deliberately 
have a petition changed, would deliberately forge a peti 
tion, without knowing what was in it and without knowing 
whether the necessity existed for changing it or not? 
That falsehood has not even a fig-leaf to cover its ab 
surdity. 

Here is 12 B. It would not have taken long to have 
read that. Rerdell said Dorsey had him put in the words 
" and a faster schedule." I will read the last paragraph to 
that: 

We also respectfully request and urge that the running time be re 
duced so as to run from Pueblo to Greenhorn in eight hours, so that 
citizens along the line may get their mails in a seasonable hour. 

He says Stephen W. Dorsey, a man of sense, got that 
petition, read it all over, and then told this fellow to put 
in " and a faster schedule " when right in the next para 
graph it asked for eight hours. A man who will swear 
that way had rather tell a lie on ninety days' credit than 
tell the truth for cash. Just look at it. That is what they 
call a corroboration. The more you look at this testimony 



336 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the more absurdities you find. Every truth has an infinite 
number of signs. Every truth has to fit an infinite number 
of things. Infinite wisdom could not manufacture a false 
hood that would stand the test of investigation. 

On page 2272 Rerdell says, speaking of the three peti 
tions, 7 B, ii B, and 12 B, "We," meaning S. W. Dorsey 
and himself, " had examined these petitions together, and 
he," meaning S. W. Dorsey, " told me to put in the clause 
for expedition." Now, 7 B was filed April 18. That is 
the day he left for the West. 1 1 and 126 were filed on 
the 8th of May. If they had them all at one time together, 
and if he and Dorsey had talked about them, why were 
they not filed at the same time ? Why was one filed April 
1 8th and the other two on the 8th of May ? That testimony 
of Rerdell's will not do. 

On page 2279 Rerdell says that he found among Dorsey's 
papers the tabular statement, about the middle of April, 
1879. In the first column was the number of the route; 
in the second the termini ; in the third the pay ; in the 
fourth the anticipated pay by percentages, and in the fifth 
the percentage to T. J. B., thirty-three and one-third, with 
the figures carried out at the end of the column. He tells 
you that he had that tabular statement when he first went 
to MacVeagh. That tabular statement was in the hand 
writing of S. W. Dorsey. Yet the Attorney-General was 
not satisfied. He wanted that backed up by a book not in 
the handwriting of S. W. Dorsey. That will not do. Rer 
dell also tells you that at the time he went to the Attorney- 
General he not only had that tabular statement, but he had 
a letter-press copy of the original letter that Dorsey wrote 
to Bosler on the i3th day of May, 1879. He had that 
letter, the original of which was in Dorsey's handwriting, in 
which he admitted he had paid Brady twenty thousand dollars. 
He had the tabular statement in Dorsey's own handwriting in 
which he was to pay thirty-three and one-third per cent, to 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 337 

Brady. Yet the Attorney-General did not think there was 
sufficient evidence, and said, " You had better go to New York 
and steal a book that Dorsey never wrote a word in." Oh, 
no ; that will not do. 

On page 2280 Rerdell swears that he lost that memorandum. 
I guess he did. On page 3785 S. W. Dorsey swears that he 
never made any such memorandum. On page 2280 Rerdell 
swears that he employed Gibbs and wife to make a true and 
correct copy of the books in March, 1880 ; that he was directed 
by S. W. Dorsey to send him a true transcript of the books 
in order to settle with Bosler, and that Gibbs and wife copied 
the journal and ledger, and that he sent the copy to New York. 
On page 3788 Dorsey swears that he never heard of the em 
ployment of Gibbs and wife, and that he never received any 
such books or transcripts. On page 2644 Gibbs swears that 
his wife copied only the journal, not the ledger. Yet Rerdell 
swears that he copied the journal and the ledger. On page 2644 
Gibbs again swears that Rerdell brought him one book. 
What color was it, red, brown, or black ? Rerdell says he 
took him two red books. Gibbs swears he got one brown 
book or one black book. That is what they call corroboration. 
On page 2320 Rerdell swears with regard to the paper 2 A, 
that the words, "schedule thirteen hours" were written by 
Miner. If those words, "schedule thirteen hours," were not 
written by Rerdell, then they were written by somebody else. 
[2 A handed to Mr. Ingersoll.] I guess this is the petition 
that was fixed up. It looks as if it had been to a hospital. 
Rerdell says Miner wrote the words " schedule thirteen hours." 
Just look at that word " thirteen," gentlemen. 

You have no idea how it affects your imagination and brain 
to be indicted seven times. On page 2209 Boone swears with 
regard to this same paper and the same words, that there is 
nothing in the handwriting to indicate that it was written by 
Miner ; that it is a back-hand ; a changed handwriting. On 
page 4186 Miner swears that it is absolutely not true ; that the 
words " schedule thirteen hours" are absolutely and posi- 



338 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

lively not in his handwriting, and further that he never filed 
the petition. Gentlemen, evidence of handwriting' is very un 
satisfactory necessarily. Men do not always write the same. 
The same man does not always write the same hand. There 
is the difference of pen, the difference of ink, the difference of 
paper, the difference of position, and the difference, too, of 
the man's feelings. At one time he feels in splendid health 
and at another time he may be tired and worn out. The paper 
may not be in the same position. The slope of the desk 
may be different. Countless reasons change the hand 
writing of a person, and when a man swears that certain 
handwriting is or is not another's handwriting he must 
swear on the general appearance ; he must swear on the 
impression that it first makes upon him. 

I know Mr. Smith and I know Mr. Jones, but it may be 
that I could not describe the differences in the faces of the 
two men so that a stranger could afterwards tell them. 
Yet I know them. It is the effect of all the features upon 
me. I cannot say it is because of the ear of one, or his 
nose, or his mouth. I know the combination. I remember 
the grouping of the features and the form, and that is all I 
remember. If I am shown a paper and asked, "Is that Mr. 
Smith's handwriting?" I say it is, or I say no. Why? 
Because it looks like it or it does not look like it. I can 
not recognize it because an " e " is made in a certain way 
or because a " d " is turned in a certain way, because the 
next day he may turn it the other way. You have got to 
go upon the general impression. On page 2336 Rerdell 
swears that the oath on route 38140, marked 5 E, was filled 
in by S. W. Dorsey ; that the word " twelve " was written 
by him, Rerdell, after it was filed, and was written because 
Turner told him that the schedule must be twelve hours ; 
that Turner handed him the oath and he thereupon 
changed the " fifteen " to " twelve." On page 3355 Turner 
swears that he has no knowledge of any alteration in any 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 339 

affidavit. On page 3793 S. W. Dorsey swears that he did 
not know there was any such affidavit ; and he also fre 
quently swears that he never asked Rerdell to change any 
affidavit that had been filed, and that he never gave any 
such orders. These gentlemen find one affidavit about 
which we did not ask Mr. Dorsey particularly and they 
say, "You have not contradicted that." When a man 
swears that he never gave an order about any affidavit, that 
covers every affidavit. 

On page 2337 Rerdell swears that the oath marked 20 F, 
on route 38145, was filled in by him after it was signed, 
under the direction of S. W. Dorsey. On page 3793 Dor 
sey denies giving any such directions. 

On page 2338 Rerdell swears that blanks in the oath 22 
F, the second oath, were filled in by S. W. Dorsey, but will 
not say whether before or after execution. On page 3771 
Dorsey says he does not remember doing any such thing ; 
but certainly there is no evidence that Dorsey did this after 
the affidavit had been made. 

On page 2339 Rerdell swears that the words "ninety- 
six" in the petition 14 H, were written by Miner. Boone, 
on page 2709, declines to say that Miner wrote them. On 
page 4273 Miner swears that the words are not in his 
handwriting, that he never wrote them. On page 2298 
Rerdell swears that he signed a check " S. W. Dorsey by 
M. C. Rerdell," and that he had that check at home. It 
may be that is one of the checks for June drawn upon Mid- 
dleton's bank that we could not find. 

On page 2340 Rerdell says that the oath marked 8 I, on 
route 44140, was filled in by him in Washington after it was 
signed and sworn to, under the direction of S. W. Dorsey. 
On page 3792 S. W. Dorsey denies that he gave any such 
directions. 

On page 2342 Rerdell swears that S. W. Dorsey signed 
the name of J. M. Peck to the warrant 55 G. I have for- 



340 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

gotten the day that the draft was given, but I think it was 
the 2d day of August. It was paid on August 25, 1880. 
All I have to say is that there was an abundance of time 
for that draft to go to New Mexico and to be signed by 
John M. Peck ; there was thousands of time. It makes 
not the slightest difference who signed the name of John 
M. Peck to that warrant. The question is, was that money 
coming to John M. Peck ? No. John M. Peck had sold out 
his interest. He was not entitled to one dollar, and it made 
no difference who signed his name to the check. Does it 
show that there was a conspiracy if Dorsey signed his name 
after Peck had sold out his interest in the routes ? Any draft 
coming to him came to him simply as the trustee and the 
draft was for the benefit of the person who bought him 
out. Suppose Mr. Dorsey had signed his name. Would 
that prove that there was any conspiracy ? It would simply 
be in accordance with his right as the matter then stood. 
He was entitled to that draft and Peck was not entitled to 
that draft. Why? Because he had bought him out and 
paid him ten thousand dollars for his interest. That was 
all. Yet they would claim if that draft happened to be 
indorsed by Mr. Dorsey that it would be evidence of a con 
spiracy entered into in the fall of 1879. 

On pages 2348 and 2361 Rerdell says that figures were 
inserted in all affidavits given him by S. W. Dorsey, except 
on route 41119, and that Dorsey told him, Rerdell, to put 
them in the blanks. On page 3793 S. W. Dorsey denies 
that. 

On page 2223 Rerdell says that in August, 1878, he had 
a talk with Miner, who said that they could do nothing 
while Boone was in the combination ; that Brady was 
hostile to Boone, and that Boone's place was to be taken 
by Vaile ; and that Miner asked his opinion about Vaile, 
and asked what Rerdell thought about Dorsey's approving 
it, adding that Vaile was very close to Brady. On page 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 341 

4177 Miner swears that he has no recollection of the con 
versation, and does not believe any such conversation ever 
occurred. 

Ah, but they say that when a paper was handed to Mr. 
Miner, an affidavit for instance, he could not give you the 
history of it ; he could not tell you where he was when he 
wrote it ; he could not tell you where he was when he 
filled it. I would not have believed his testimony if he 
could. He had to take care of some ninety-six routes. 
Upon those routes there were numberless papers, notices 
from the department, notices of fines and deductions, of 
remissions, and everything of that kind. On each route 
there were probably a hundred papers, and may be more 
petitions, affidavits, and papers of all descriptions. If a 
man should stand up here five years afterwards and pre 
tend that he knew the history of each paper, I would know 
he had not the slightest regard for truth. 

Mr. Miner said when he was shown a paper, " I don't re 
member ever having seen that paper before ; I don't remem 
ber when it was written." That was the truth. If he had 
wished to stain his heart with perjury he could have said, 
" Yes, I remember it. I know absolutely the time I wrote it. 
I know I sent it to New Mexico. I know it was filled up be 
fore it was sworn to"; but he was honest enough and he was 
brave enough to face the truth and say, " I don't remember," 
and I respected him for it when he did it. Whenever you 
hear the truth, as a rule the first thought is, " May be it won't 
do." But if it is the truth, the longer you think about it the 
better it seems, while if it is a lie, the longer you think about 
it the worse it gets. It would have been, apparently, to Mr. 
Miner's interest to say, "I remember it perfectly," but the 
man had honor enough to tell the truth. And when you come 
to investigate his evidence it sounds much better than though 
he had pretended to remember time and place. 

I call your attention to page 2446 ; that is about the 
affidavit. 



342 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

On page 2384 Rerdell speaks of the charges made to 
Samuel Jones and James B. Belford for two thousand dollars. 
Then Mr. Bliss in his speech, which I will come to after a 
while, says that Mr. Rerdell spoke about a charge to J. B. B. 
He never did, never. He said James B. Belford. I started 
the J. B. B. business. I was the first one who ever said it, 
and Mr. Rerdell never swore J. B. B. Then they sent out to 
Denver to get a fellow who had the same initials. I will come 
to this man after a while. 

On pages 2429 and 2430 Rerdell swears that he had two 
balance-sheets of the books, made by Donnelly ; that he 
showed them to MacVeagh and Woodward. How does it 
happen that Woodward was not sworn about it ? Nothing 
would have been of more importance, if they wished to 
prove the existence of the two red books, than to prove by 
Woodward that Mr. Rerdell, in June, 1881, showed him 
copies of those balance-sheets or the balance-sheets them 
selves. They did not bring Mr. Woodward on the 
stand. Why ? Mr. Woodward, in my judgment, had 
he come upon the stand, would have sworn to the 
truth. Rerdell says, " I do not know where they are." 
Then he paused. Then I saw the working of his 
mind just as plainly as though his skull had been opened. 
He got himself together and swore that he gave them to 
Dorsey in July, 1882. He had to get them out of his hands 
some way. 

On page 3736 S. W. Dorsey swears that he, Rerdell, did 
not give him any balance sheets. 

On page 2434 Rerdell swears as to the papers he gave to 
Dorsey the original journal, and copy of the Oregon cor 
respondence made by Miss Nettie L. White. Miss White 
was not called. He gave these, he says, to Dorsey, July 13, 
1882. On page 2793 Dorsey swears that he did not give them 
to him, nor did he give a paper of any kind. 

On page 2461 Rerdell is asked if he did not admit to Judge 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 343 

Carpenter, in January, 1882, that he had a memorandum 
written by himself, which he showed to James and MacVeagh, 
and that he made it so much like Dorsey's handwriting that 
he did not think anybody could tell it What was his answer? 
"I may have done so." Honest man ! 

On page 2462, in answer to the question, "Did you not 
tell Carpenter that you brought no book from New York ? " 
the honest man answered : 

Very likely I said I brought no book over from New York. 

On the same page, in answer to the question, " Did you not 
tell French that you were trying to entrap James ? " he ad 
mits that it is likely he was. 

On page 2463 he admits that he may have told French that 
he had learned to imitate the handwriting of Dorsey so well 
that Dorsey himself could not tell the imitation; and that he 
wrote that memorandum in pencil because he could the more 
easily deceive. Honest man 1 

Mr. Bliss holds S. W. Dorsey up to scorn because he en 
deavored to turn two men out of the Cabinet on the testimony 
of Rerdell; and yet he is trying to put four men in the pen 
itentiary on the same oath. Do you not think that it is 
better to get a man out of the Cabinet than to put another 
into the penitentiary ? And do you not think it is better that 
a man be put out of office than that he be put into the peni 
tentiary, his family destroyed, and his home left to ruin, upon 
the oath of a man who s w ears that the oath was a lie ? Dorsey 
was an awfully wicked man to try to get Mr. MacVeagh out 
of office on Rerdell's testimony. But now they turn around 
and want to put Mr. Vaile and Mr. Miner into the peniten 
tiary on the same testimony. The other testimony was the 
best, because we did not promise him immunity. I will come 
to it after a while. 

On page 2465 Rerdell swears that he did not have any pen 
cil memorandum that he showed to MacVeagh, claiming that 
it was in the handwriting of Dorsey, and was asked, "Did 



344 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

you not tell Rosier that you had ? ' ' What does he say ? ' ' Pos 
sibly I did." " Did you not tell Hosier that you wrote it ? " 
"Possibly I did." 

S. W. Dorsey swears on page 3810 that Rerdell told Bosler 
that it was in the waste-basket, and Bosler took the pieces out 
and put them together. Rerdell says he had written it, and 
in pencil, so that it would look more like Dorsey's handwrit 
ing. Why did you not ask Bosler about it, gentlemen, when 
you had him on the stand to prove your letter ? Even Mr. 
Bliss, in his speech, asked, " Why didn't they call Bosler? " 
Why didn't you have the fairness to tell all the circumstances ? 
I will tell them all when I get to that part of it. Why did you 
not tell them that you had looked all through Mr. Bosler' s 
books ? 

On page 2466 Rerdell swears that he did not get that mem 
orandum out of the waste-basket, but got a note from Mac- 
Veagh, and that Dorsey was present. 

On page 3810 Dorsey swears that it was a pencil memoran 
dum imitating his (Dorsey's) hand closely. 

On page 2466 Rerdell admits that he very likely told Bosler 
in June, 1881, that he had no book on the train and brought 
none from New York. In answer to my question, he says, 
" Possibly I did," or " Probably I did," tell Bosler. I can 
not bring other witnesses to contradict him when he admits 
that he did. That is enough for me. 

On page 2467 he admits that he very likely told Judge 
Wilson about the affidavit ; that if he told him anything, 
he told him that no such book existed, and that there was 
no necessity for any book except an expense book. 

On page 2469 Rerdell swears that he had a copy of the 
day-book and ledger in June, 1881, in Dorsey's office; that 
Dorsey took them that day, and that they had been there 
ever since they were made, to be carried to Congress. Then 
he began to gather his ideas, and he says : 

Hold on. I am mistaken. These books were all sent over to New 
York before that, in the summer of 1880, when I carried the originals 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 345 

over for the last settlement I was present at, between Dorsey and 
Bosler. 

There was no settlement in 1880, the time he speaks of. 
Mr. Merrick then says : 

Q. There were two sets of those copies ? 

That would be four copies and two originals. 

A. No, sir. 

On page 3955, S. W. Dorsey swears that he had the 
first settlement with Bosler in December, 1879, or January, 
1880, and had no subsequent adjustment until November 
or December, 1882; no settlement between those dates. 
Yet Rerdell says that he took those books over in the 
summer of 1880 for a settlement, when there was no settle 
ment, and at the same time carried the originals. A moment 
before he had sworn that the originals were there in the 
office in June, 1881. 

On page 2470 Rerdell swears that he did not give the 
books to Dorsey in 1881. 

On page 2447 he swears that he did not have the balance- 
sheet in New York ; that he had it in the office in June, 
1881. 

On page 2479, Rerdell, in speaking of the pencil memo 
randum, was cornered, caught. He said, " I have kept it as 
a voucher." Then finally he admits that it was not his 
property, but was the property of Dorsey; and the last 
admission he made upon that subject was, " I stole it." He 
says that while he was in jail somebody got into the office 
and destroyed his papers. And yet, on page 2480, he tells 
that the first time it ever occurred to him to use that pencil 
memorandum was after the first trial was over. Can you 
believe that ? He was trying to steal it on the i3th of July, 
1882 ; was trying to go over to the Government on the 5th 
day of July, 1882, and did not think that he had that 
pencil memorandum ! Writing a letter on that day to 
Dorsey ; giving him notice that he was going to desert him ; 



346 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

saying in that very letter that he had been persuaded by 
Bosler to make the first affidavit ; saying that he was making 
preparations to go to the Government, was going to set 
himself right, and yet did not remember the pencil memo 
randum ! Why ? Because he manufactured it afterwards. 
He says that within a day or two after he was out of jail 
he found this paper a second time. He found it before, 
and laid it carefully away as a voucher. Then he lost 
sight of it. Then he was trying to sell it to the Govern 
ment, and he forgot it ; trying to blackmail Bosler and 
Dorsey, and forgot it. When he got out of jail he found it. 
That will not do. How does he say it got to his house ? 
His wife carried it from the office while he was in jail. And 
yet he would have us believe that Dorsey broke into that 
office and stole all the papers. And yet he says that was in 
the office, and Dorsey did not take it. It will not do. He 
manufactured that paper after that time. 

On page 248 1 Rerdell swears that he did not know that 
he had that paper at that time, at the time he says his wife 
got the papers. I say he did not ; I say he made it after 
wards. 

On page 2490 Rerdell swears that he had those red books 
in the office at 1121 I street ; that he never made any effort 
to conceal them. And yet Kellogg never saw one of those 
boo-ks; never saw Rerdell working upon them, and never 
saw them in the office. 

On page 2491 Rerdell swears that he thinks Kellogg did 
some work on those red books ; that Kellogg helped him 
(Rerdell) make the first entries. On page 3636 Kellogg 
swears not only that he did not help him to make those 
entries, but positively swears that he never even saw any 
such books. 

On page 3635 Kellogg swears positively that Rerdell did 
not keep any books, but a private expense-book and a 
route-book; and that he (Kellogg) never saw any other 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 347 

books ; that he never saw a ledger or journal in red leather, 
kept by Rerdell. He swears that he himself kept the three 
books (the journal, ledger, and cash-book,) and that Rerdell 
never made an entry in them. 

On page 2512 Rerdell swears that he never imitated 
Dorsey's handwriting, or tried to, in Kellogg's presence. 
On page 3636 Kellogg swears that he saw him do it. 

On the same page (2512) Rerdell swears that he never 
signed Dorsey's name to show Kellogg that he could imitate 
it. On page 3636 Kellogg swears that he did do it. 

I have just given you a few, gentlemen, of the corrobora- 
tions of this man Rerdell. Recollect that you cannot believe 
him unless he is corroborated. If you believe him at all 
you have got to believe all, unless you believe he is mis 
taken. Where a man comes on the stand as an informer 
and I do not call him an informer even in that capacity he 
has to be taken altogether or not at all. 

Now, with all these contradictions upon his head, I will 
now come to the affidavit of July 13, 1882. You will re 
member that I read you the letter of July 5, in which he 
says that Bosler got him to make the affidavit of 1881. At 
page 2374 Rerdell gives an account of this affidavit. Dorsey 
got him in Willard's Hotel, locked the door, and had him. 
Now, he said to him, " Mr. Rerdell, I will tell you what I 
am going to do with you : I am going to have you prose 
cuted for perjury." Let us imagine that conversation. 
Rerdell replies, " What are you going to have me prose 
cuted for?" "For making the affidavit of June, 1881." 
" Why," says Rerdell, " in that affidavit I swore you were 
innocent." Says Dorsey, " Don't you know you swore to a 
lie ? Do you think I would stand a lie of that kind, sir ? 
Do you think I will allow any man willfully, maliciously, 
and with malice aforethought, to swear that I am an inno 
cent man ? I will have you arrested to-night, sir." " Well," 
says Rerdell, " my good God, ain't there any way I can get 



348 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

out of this ? " " Yes ; make another affidavit just like it. 
Now, sir, you have perjured yourself and I will arrest you 
for perjury unless you do it again." " Well," says Rerdell, 
" when I get that done you will have two cases against me." 
" I can't help it," Dorsey says. " Is that the way you treat 
a friend ? I swore to that lie from pure friendship. Don't 
you remember you took me by both hands and begged me, 
for God's sake, and for your wife's sake and your children's 
sake, to make that affidavit ? And now are you going to 
be such a perfect devil as to have me arrested for perjury 
for making that same affidavit ? " Dorsey says, " Yes, sir ; 
that is the kind of man I am." " Well, but," says Rerdell, 
" don't you know the trial is going on now ? They are 
trying to prove, now, that you are guilty, and in that affi 
davit of mine I swore you are innocent, and how are you 
going to prove a man guilty when you swear that he is 
innocent ? " Dorsey says, " That is my business, not yours. 
I am going to have you arrested." " But," says Rerdell, 
" you had better hold on, I tell you." " Why ? " "I have 
got the red book that I got in New York." Dorsey says, 
" I don't care." Rerdell says, " I have got the pencil 
memorandum that you made for me to open the books upon, 
and charge William Smith with eighteen thousand dollars. 
And you wrote John Smith first, and I changed it to Sam 
Jones, don't you recollect, as otherwise there would be two 
Smiths ? And there is the account against J. H. Mitchell, 
and J. W. D., and cash, and profit and loss." Dorsey says, 
" I don't care about that. I am not going to allow a man 
to commit perjury. I am going to have you arrested." 
Rerdell says, " You had better not have me arrested." 
Dorsey says, " Why ? What else have you got ? " "I have 
got a copy of the letter that you wrote to Bosler on the i3th 
of May, 1879, in which you say that you paid twenty thou 
sand dollars to Thomas J. Brady. That copy was made by 
Miss Nettie L. White." " Do you believe I care anything 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 349 

about that ? You have perjured yourself, and it is no 
difference to me whether it was in my favor or not. Justice 
must be done, and I am going to have you arrested." 
Rerdell says, " You had better not. I have got a tabular 
statement in your handwriting, Dorsey, where you had a 
column for the amount due and the amount received, and 
another column for thirty-three and one-third per cent. 
given to Brady, and then at the top, in your handwriting, 
' T. J. B., thirty-three and one-third.' " Dorsey says, " I don't 
care what you have got." Rerdell says, "That ain't all I 
have got, Dorsey. I tore out of your copy-book a copy of 
the letter I wrote to Bosler on the 2ist or 22d of May, 1880, 
in which I told him that I had gone to Brady, and that 
Brady said you were a damn fool for keeping a set of books, 
and suggested to me to have some copies made, and I had 
the copies made, and I can prove the copies by Gibbs if he 
does not try not to remember that he made them. Now, go 
on with your rat-killing ; go on with your perjury suit." 
Dorsey had him already locked up there, don't you see ? 
But Dorsey was bent on having that man arrested for per 
jury because he had sworn that he (Dorsey) was innocent. 
Dorsey was implacable. 

What else did he do ? He put his hand in his pocket 
and said, " Do you see those letters to that woman ?" Then, 
sir, when he saw the handwriting he was like that other 
gentlemen that saw the handwriting on the wall, and he 
began to get weak in the knees, and says, " Dorsey, I hope 
you are not going to have me arrested for perjury. I am 
willing to do it again right now, on the same subject." 

Now, it turns out that at that time Dorsey did not have 
those letters. Dorsey swears that he never got those let 
ters until after Rerdell was put upon the stand. And 
after he swore that, the Government had the woman to 
whom the letters were written subpoenaed. Why did they 
not place her on the stand ? That is for you to answer, 



350 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

gentlemen. That is the affidavit of July 13. Recollect, 
there was a trial going on at that time in which Dorsey 
was insisting that he was innocent, and although Rerdell 
had sworn that he was, he was going to have him arrested 
right off. 

What else did he have against Dorsey at that time? 
Now, says Rerdell, " Dorsey, don't you have me arrested 
for perjury. I have got a memorandum of that mining 
stock that was to be given to McGrew and Tyner and 
Turner and Lilley for corrupt purposes." 

What else did he have? After he had agreed to make 
the affidavit, Dorsey wrote out what he wanted him to 
swear to, in pencil, and gave it to him. And when he got 
his liberty, when he walked out of that room a free citizen, 
he had all the papers I have spoken of not only, but he had 
in his possession a draft, in Dorsey's handwriting, of the 
affidavit Dorsey wanted him to make. He made the first 
affidavit from friendship ; the second from fright. You 
know he never took a dollar for an affidavit. He was not 
that kind of a man. You might get around him by talking 
friendship or you might scare him, but you could not bribe 
him ; he wasn't that kind of a man. Armed with all these 
papers he was frightened; so he made the affidavit of 
July 13. 

Now, let us see. He admits that I will not say every 
word, but the principal things in the affidavit of June, 1881, 
are false. He swore to them knowing them to be false. 
But he tried to get out by saying he did not write them all. 
Writing is not the crime. The crime is swearing that they 
are true when they are not true. It does not make any 
difference who wrote it. For instance, you swear to an 
affidavit, and you afterwards say, "I did not write it." 
" Did you know the contents? " " Yes." " Did you swear 
to it?" "Yes." What difference does it make who wrote 
it? And yet he endeavors to get behind that breastwork 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 35! 

and say, " I did not write all that affidavit ; I only wrote 
part of it. What I wrote was true, but what I swore to was 
not." That will not do. 

So the affidavit of July, 1882, he now swears was a lie. But 
he gives a reason for writing that, that you know is utterly, 
perfectly, completely false. You know that Dorsey never 
threatened to have him arrested for perjury because he had 
sworn in favor of Dorsey. You know it, and all the elo 
quence and all the genius of the world could not convince 
you that at that time Rerdell was afraid that Dorsey would 
have him arrested for perjury. No, sir. 

Now, let us take the next step. Mr. Rerdell testified, on 
page 2275, that this letter (32 X) was received by him in 
due course of mail in 1878. Upon being asked whether he 
did not know that S. W. Dorsey was here in Washington 
at that time, he replied that he knew he was not. I will 
read it to you, gentlemen : 
Chico Springs, P. O. 
MOUNTAIN SPRING RANCH, COLFAX COUNTY, NEW MEXICO, 

"Aprils, 1878. 

M. C. RERDELL, 1121 I Street: 

" DEAR RERDELL : I wish you would get fullest information in re 
gard to all the new post-office lettings and keep posted as to the 
schemes going on in the department. There are certain routes we 
want advertised and others we do not. I shall be in Washington as 
soon as the i2th unless something unexpectedly happens 

Faithfully, 

DORSEY. 

Q. What Dorsey was that ? A. That is S. W. Dorsey's handwriting. 
Q. And signature ? A. Yes, sir. 

There is where he first speaks of it. At the time that 
letter was introduced, or in a little time, gentlemen, they 
also introduced the envelope. I do not know that I should 
have suspected the letter if they had not introduced the 
envelope. Whenever there is an effort to make a thing 
too certain I always suspect it. When that Morey letter was 
gotten up, what made me suspect it was that they fcad the 



352 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

envelope, and I said to myself, " Why did they want the 
envelope if it was clearly in the handwriting of Garfield ? 
What difference did it make whether it was sent to Morey 
or to somebody else ? What difference did it make when 
it came from Washington? " The only question was, "Did 
Garfield write it?" And upon that subject the envelope 
threw no light. When a man feels weak and thinks that 
other people will know what he does not want them to 
know, then it is that he wants to barricade and strengthen 
before the attack. So they got up this envelope, and when 
I looked at that it did not look to me as if that stamp had 
been through the mail. I noticed the handwriting of 
" Chico Springs, N. M.," and then I noticed the 3 or the B 
on the postage stamp, and then I knew that the man who 
wrote " Chico Springs " never made the letter or figure on 
that stamp. It is utterly impossible for the man who 
wrote that " Chico Springs " to make that mark on the 
stamp. This stamp looked awfully clean, and I said, 
" Well, I wouldn't wonder if that was an envelope used 
here in the city which has been got through the mail in 
some way." They had it stamped on the back and I said, 
"Perhaps that was written in 1879." No. You see, if it 
was not written in 1879 it did not do any harm, because in 
1879 Dorsey was not a member of the Senate. Having 
gone out on the 4th of March, 1879, if that letter was dated 
in April, 1879, W ^> T then there was no harm in his writing 
to Mr. Rerdell and telling him to look after the mail busi 
ness. But if it was written on the 3d of April, 1878, it 
went far to show that Dorsey was personally interested at 
that time in mail routes. You will notice the printed date, 
April 3, 1878. They introduced that letter. I noticed that 
that envelope was a funny looking thing, and that the 
writing on it did not correspond with the mark on the 
stamp. I noticed also that upon the back they had the 
stamp. I do not know how they got it. When the Post- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 353 

Office Department has possession of a paper they can put 
almost anything on it. 

When I said to Mr. Rerdell on cross-examination, not 
knowing anything about the letter, " Was that not written 
in 1879?" he said, "No, sir." Said I, "Don't you know, 
as a matter of fact, that Dorsey was not here on the 3d of 
April, 1879?" He said, "As a matter of fact I know that 
he was here on the 3d of April, 1879." " Don't you know, 
as a matter of fact, that he was here on the 3d of April, 
1878 ? " He says, " I know as a matter of fact that he was 
not here on the 3d of April, 1878; he was at Chico 
Springs." He knew as a matter of fact that he was here in 
1879, an d ne swore that so as to preclude the possibility of 
his having written the letter in 1879. And he swore to the 
positive fact that he was not here on the 3d of April, 1878, 
so as to show that he wrote him that letter from Chico 
Springs. They wanted some letter from Dorsey in 1878, to 
show that he was personally interested in these routes 
while in the Senate. They submitted that letter to Mr. 
Boone, who was their witness. He looks at it and he tells 
you that Dorsey did not write that letter. A clear forgery. 
Whom else do they bring now ? They leave it rig~ht there, 
and by that admit that Rerdell forged that letter. Mr. 
Boone, their witness, swears it. Nobody swears to the 
contrary except Rerdell. Boone threw the letter from him 
contemptuously, and said, "That is not Dorsey 's handwrit 
ing," and they dare not bring another witness. The country 
is filled with experts, gentlemen, who know about hand 
writing ; the United States had plenty of men and plenty 
of money, and they never brought a solitary man. 

Now, gentlemen, do you want to know how this fellow 
got caught ? I will tell you. There is the letter, and they 
dare not put a man on the stand to swear that it is in Dor- 
sey's handwriting. Look it all over. But I want to tell 
you how Rerdell got caught abou porsey being present on. 



354 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the 3d of April, 1878, and I might as well tell you how I 
found it out. I do not want to pretend to be any more in 
genious than I am. I found it out because I made the same 
mistake myself. I stumbled on that same root. I hit my 
toe of heedlessness on the same obstruction. I went up to 
look at the Senate journal. I opened a book to see whether 
Dorsey was here on the 3d of April, 1878. You see at the 
bottom there of the title page, Mr. Foreman 

Washington : Government Printing Office. 1877. 

You know I was not looking for the book of 1877, so I 
shut that book up. I then took the next book and opened 
it, and it said at just the same place : 

Washington : Government Printing Office. 1878. 

I thought it was the book. So I looked over here, and I 
found that there was no session of the Senate in April, and 
I said to myself, " Is that possible that there was no session 
in April, 1878? Why, there must have been." But the 
book said " no." I looked back here, and it still said 1878. 
Then I happened to look back to this book that said 1877, 
and it said that the session commenced December 3d, 1877, 
and consequently April 3d, would be found in the book 
marked 1877 on the title page. So I turned right over 
here and looked up at the top and saw the date, April 3d, 
1878. He was looking for the 1878 book, and that included 
April, 1879, and when he got to April, 1879, there was no 
session of the Senate. So he came right in here and swore 
that Dorsey was not here in 1878, but that he was here in 
April, 1879. I looked in that book and found that Mr. 
Dorsey, on the 3d of April, 1878, was appointed by the 
Vice- President on a committee of conferees, on the part of 
the Senate, together with Senators Windom and Beck, and 
I saw exactly how Mr. Rerdell made his mistake. He 
opened the book, and at the bottom .of the title page it said 
1877. That was not what he was looking for. He was 
looking for 1878. And the book that said 1878 showed that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 355 

in April the Senate was not in session. The book that said 
1877 showed that in April the Senate was in session on 
April 3d, 1878. That man thought he was backed by the 
records of the Senate, and thereupon he manufactured that 
letter. And that is the letter sworn by Boone not to be in 
the handwriting of S. W. Dorsey. Now, gentlemen, there 
is nothing in this world that a man would be prevented 
from doing, for its baseness, who would do that. 

There is more evidence than this. I asked Mr. Rerdell, 
" When you got that letter did you understand it ?" He said, 
" No." " Did you do anything on account of it ? " " No." 
" Did you know what it meant ? " " No." And yet he has 
the temerity to swear that he received that on the 3d of 
April, 1878. 

How did he come to spell the name Reddell ? I will tell 
you. On page 2275 he had a letter to go by. That is the 
very page on which the Government puts in that letter. 
This letter is a letter of introduction. When Rerdell manu 
factured that letter he had this letter of introduction to 
goby: 
Hon. J. L. ROUTT, Denver: 

MY DEAR GOVERNOR : I wish to introduce my friend, Mr. M. C. 
Reddell. 

It was written Reddell in that letter, and when this man 
wanted to manufacture one he had one in his possession 
that Dorsey wrote about that time (April 14, 1879), an( i ne 
noticed that in that he spelled the name Reddell. So when 
he wanted to get up a fraud he spelled the name Reddell. 
That is the way. There is no pretence that Dorsey wrote 
that letter, and they dare not bring an expert or another 
man on earth acquainted with the handwriting of Dorsey 
and submit it to him and expect him to say that that is the 
handwriting of S. W. Dorsey. So much for that. 

Now, it is claimed that while Torrey was writing up Dor- 
sey's books, having in his possession the check stubs, he 



356 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

was uncertain as to whether a charge was twenty-five dollars 
or twenty-five cents, and he thereupon sent to Rerdell to 
ascertain the true state of the account, so that he might 
open his books. Thereupon Rerdell made the calculation 
in the evidence marked (94 X,) and Donnelly wrote under 
it that it was right. Donnelly made that little certificate at 
the bottom. Here is the important paper [submitting 94 
X to the jury], another piece manufactured out of whole 
cloth, not whole paper. Now, I ask a few questions about 
this. In the first place, they knew that unless this was 
corroborated it was good for nothing, and we find on it: 

Lewis Johnson & Co., note due 28th October, three thousand 
dollars. 

Was that note at Lewis Johnson & Co.'s? Why did they 
not bring some of the officers of that bank, if there was 
such a note for three thousand dollars there ? But no one 
was brought. And yet they knew that everything coming 
from Rerdell must be corroborated. 

If Rerdell had come to Donnelly to find what the account 
was, how did it happen to be in RerdelPs handwriting be 
fore it got to Donnelly ? Donnelly wrote this certificate at 
the bottom. Rerdell had written all the facts before. If 
he went to Donnelly to get the facts, how did Rerdell hap 
pen to write this before it got to Donnelly ? It is like me 
wanting to get some information from a man, and writing 
the information before going to him. 

Now, if Donnelly wrote that after Rerdell had written, 
where did Rerdell get the information ? If Donnelly had 
the books, Donnelly should have given the information. If 
Rerdell had the books, why did he want to go to Donnelly 
for information? And if Donnelly had the books, how did 
Rerdell write the information before he went to Donnelly ? 
Then if he wanted that information for Torrey, why did he 
not send it to him ? How does it happen that Rerdell 
wrote out the information for Donnelly, then got Donnelly 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 357 

to certify it, because Torrey had asked it ? And then how 
does it happen that Rerdell kept it ? It seems to me that 
that ought to have been sent to Torrey. Torrey wrote to 
Rerdell for information ; Rerdell wrote it all down, and then 
got Mr. Donnelly to say it was so. If Donnelly had the 
books, Donnelly should have given the information. If 
Rerdell had the books, he did not have to go to Donnelly for 
information. That is another manufactured paper. As I 
say, how does it happen to be in the possession of Rerdell ? 
They claim that it was for Torrey's benefit. I believe when 
Torrey was on the stand they asked him if there was not 
some dispute about thirty-five cents. Now they bring that 
here to show that there was a dispute about twenty-five 
cents. Was there any reason for supposing that it was 
twenty-five cents? No, except that it was in the dollar 
column, that is all. Of what use was Donnelly's statement 
after Rerdell had made the calculation ? Nobody on earth 
can tell why that was given. Why did they not bring some 
of the books or clerks from Lewis Johnson & Co.'s Bank to 
show that there was a note there in October for three thou 
sand dollars. 

There is another little matter, a conversation between 
Rerdell and Brady. Rerdell said he had a conversation 
with Brady in which he told him about the Congressional 
committee ; that he was summoned to bring his books. 
Brady was astonished that Dorsey would be " Damn fool 
enough to keep books," and suggested to have them copied. 
If this is true, Brady at that time made a confident of 
Rerdell. If it is true, Brady at that time admitted to 
Rerdell that he (Brady) was a conspirator; that he had 
conspired with Dorsey. And yet Brady says that he never 
had but three or four conversations, I believe, with this 
man, and Rerdell himself admits that he never had but 
four or five, and when he is pinned down on cross-examina 
tion he accounts for enough of these interviews, without 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

any interviews on the subject of the books, to exceed all 
that he ever had. Do you believe that he ever had any 
such conversation ? Do you believe that Brady would 
make a confident of him ? Do you believe that Brady 
would substantially admit in his presence that he had been 
bribed by Dorsey ? I do not. 

Now, in order that you may know what this man is, I 
want you to have an idea of his character. So we will come 
to the next point. Mr. Rerdell admits that he sat with the 
defendants during the early part of this trial ; that he was 
willing to make a bargain with the Government ; that he 
proposed to the Government that he would sit with his 
co-defendants, and would challenge from the jury the friends 
of the defendants. Did any man wearing the human form 
ever propose a more corrupt and infamous bargain ? That 
proposition ought to have been written on the tanned hide 
of a Tewksbury pauper. He went to the Government and 
deliberately said, " Gentlemen, I am willing to make a 
bargain with you. I am willing to sit with my co-defend 
ants, pretending to be their friend, and while so pretending 
I will challenge their friends from the jury. I will so 
arrange it that their enemies may be upon the panel." 
" And why do you say that, Mr. Rerdell ? " " In order to 
show my good faith towards the Government." He made 
the first affidavit for friendship, the second for fear, and he 
made this proposition to show his good faith. There never 
was a meaner proposition made by a human being, under 
the circumstances, than that. He proposed to do it. Mr. 
Blackmar says that the proposition was rejected ; but that 
does not affect Mr. Rerdell. He was willing to carry it out. 

What more does he swear? He swears that he tried 
to carry it out. In other words, that although it had been 
rejected, that made no difference to him. Mr. Blackmar 
says they would not do it. Rerdell swears that he tried to : 
went right along and did his level best ; and if the Court 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 359 

had allowed him four challenges he would have challenged 
four friends of the defendants from the jury. 

What more does he admit ? That when the Court de 
cided that all of us together only had four, he endeavored 
to challenge one. Why? Because he believed he was a 
friend of the defendants; because he believed he would 
be against the prosecution ; and he wanted to get the friends 
of the defendants away. Why ? To the end that the de 
fendants might be tried by an enemy. That is what he was 
trying to accomplish. 

Let us take another step. That proposition reveals the 
entire man ; that takes his hide off ; that takes his flesh all 
off ; that leaves his heart bare, naked ; you can see what he 
is made of, and it shows the workings of his spirit, the 
motions of his mind ; and you see in there a den of vipers ; 
you see entangled, knotted adders. And yet that man is 
put upon the stand stamped by the seal of the Department 
of Justice, and that department says to twelve men, " Here 
is a gentleman that you can believe ; that gentleman pro 
poses to sell out his co-defendants to us, but wa would not 
buy ; he is an honorable kind of gentleman, but we would 
not buy." 

Mr. MERRICK. It should be interpolated there if you 
will pardon me a moment that the Government refused 
to accept Rerdell until he himself had pleaded guilty. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I understand that. I say now, Mr. 
Merrick, that I would not for anything in the world, on a 
subject of that kind, go the millionth part of an inch beyond 
the testimony. Although you and I have not been very 
cordial friends during this trial, and neither have I and Mr. 
Bliss, yet if I know myself I would not for anything in this 
world put a stain upon your reputation, or upon the reputa 
tion of either of you, by misstating a word of this testimony. 
I would not do it. I am incapable of it. I admit that the 
evidence is that the proposition was rejected, but I also 



360 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

insist that the Government knew the proposition had been 
made, otherwise it could not have been rejected. And so I 
say that after this man had made that proposition, infamous 
enough to put a blush upon the cheek of total depravity, 
the Government put that witness upon the stand, sealed 
with the seal of the Department of Justice. 

Now, we will go another step. He sat with us from day 
to day, gentlemen, as you know, went in and out with us, 
as one of the co-defendants. In the meantime and there 
is a laughable side even to this infamy he borrowed money 
from Vaile. He went to him as a co-defendant, as a friend, 
and said, " I want a hundred and forty dollars ; I want to 
buy bread and meat to give me strength to swear you into 
the penitentiary." And Vaile gave him the money. Would 
you believe a man like that ? You cannot think of a man 
low enough, you cannot think of a defendant vile enough to 
be convicted on such testimony. 

Now, we will go another step. He wanted to make that 
bargain with Mr. Blackmar. Mr. Blackmar swears that he 
told Mr. Merrick of it, and that Mr. Merrick rejected it; 
would have nothing to do with it. 

At that time Mr. Woodward had two affidavits of Rerdell 
in his possession an affidavit of Rerdell, made in September, 
supplemented by another affidavit, I believe, of November, 
that he made in the city of Hartford, covering seventy pages. 
When Mr. Woodward saw Mr. Rerdell sitting with the de 
fendants, pretending to go with them, he (Woodward) had 
those two affidavits of Rerdell in his pocket. Did the prose 
cution know that Rerdell had made the two affidavits ? I do 
not say they did, gentlemen. I only go right to the line of 
the evidence ; there I stop. 

Another thing : Mr. Blackmar swears that they had a signal 
to look at the clock, and that night Rerdell would meet him 
at six or seven o'clock, I have forgotten the hour ; but Mr. 
Blackmar could not sit in his room all the time waiting for 



CLOSING ADbRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 361 

him, and so he gave him a certain signal, so that he would 
know he was to wait that night. Then what happened ? 
Then Mr. Rerdell came to Mr. Blackmar and gave to him 
written reports. Of what ? I do not know. He sat with the 
defendants ; he gave to Mr. Blackmar written reports. What 
were they ? I do not know. What did Mr. Blackmar do 
with them ? He handed them to Colonel Bliss. What did he 
do with them ? I do not know. Did he read them ? I do 
not know. Did he know that they were in the handwrit 
ing of Mr. Rerdell ? I do not know. That is for you. 

Still another point : 

Mr. Bliss, after this jury had been impanneled, stood be 
fore them while Rerdell was sitting with us as a defendant, 
and said : 

The ranks of the defendants are closed up, and he 

Rerdell 
stands before you now as one of the defendants, whose testimony 

Meaning the confessions made to MacVeagh and to 
Postmaster-General James 
will be accepted by the Court and by you, &c. 

The question arises, " Did Mr. Bliss know at that time 
that Mr. Woodward had in his pockets two affidavits made 
by Rerdell, one made in September and the other in 
November? Did he know at that time that Rerdell had 
given his papers over to Mr. Woodward ? Did he know at 
that time that he had offered to challenge the friends of 
the defendants from the panel ? And so knowing, did he 
give us to understand that Rerdell had passed from the 
influence of the Government and was now acting as one of 
the co-defendants ? Is it possible that Mr. Bliss would fur 
nish Rerdell with a mask behind which he could gather 
information from the defendants and sell it to the Govern 
ment for immunity ? Is it possible ? Those were the circum 
stances. I do not say that he knew. I do not know. 

Gentlemen, I do not believe that it is the duty of a Gov- 



362 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

ernment to prosecute its citizens. I do not believe that it is 
the duty of a Government to spread a net for one of the 
people whom it should protect. I do not believe in the spy 
and informer system. I believe that every Government 
should exist for the purpose of doing justice as between man 
and man. The mission of a Government is to protect and 
preserve its citizens from violence and fraud. The real object 
of a Government is to enforce honest contracts, to protect the 
weak from the strong ; not to combine against the one, not to 
offer rewards for treachery, not to show cold avarice in order 
that some citizen may have his liberty sworn away. The ob 
jects of a good Government are the sublimest of which the 
imagination can conceive. The means employed should be as 
pure as the ends are noble and sacred. The Government 
should represent the opinions, desires, and ideals of its 
greatest, its best, and its noblest citizens. Every act of the 
Government should be a flower springing from the very heart 
of honor. A Government should be incapable of deceit. The 
Department of Justice should blow from the scales even the 
dust of prejudice. Representing a supreme power, it should 
have the serenity and frankness of omnipotence. Subterfuge is 
a confession of weakness. Behind every pretence lurks 
cowardice. Our Government should be the incarnation of 
candor, of courage, and of conscience. That is my idea of a 
great and noble Government. 

The next point to which I call your attention is the with 
drawal of the plea of not guilty by Mr. Rerdell. You prob 
ably remember the occurrence. I will read to you what he 
said upon that occasion. I find it on page 2202 : 

After mature reflection and a full consideration of the whole subject, 
I have determined to abandon any further defence of myself in this 
case, and put myself at the mercy of the Court and the Government ; 
and if desired to do so by the counsel for the Government, to testify 
to all my knowledge of any facts v/ith reference to any of the defend 
ants either against or for them, myself included. Therefore, I now in 
person ask leave to withdraw my plea of not guilty, heretofore inter 
posed, and enter my plea of guilty, and in so doing put myself upon 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 363 

the mercy of the Court. I feel this to be a duty I owe to myself, my 
family, and to truth. I have arrived at this fixed determination upon 
my own reflections and responsibilities, and without any previous 
consultation with my counsel, who, I believe, would not have advised 
me to this course, and whom I now relieve from all and any respons 
ibility for the course I have adopted. 

Now, gentlemen, is it not wonderful that if Mr. Rerdell 
was about to tell the truth as a witness in this case, he 
could not even withdraw his plea of not guilty without 
misstating the facts? Is it not wonderful that he felt 
called upon at that time to tell several falsehoods ? He 
says that he took this step upon his own responsibility. 
He says that he did it without the advice of his counsel. 
He tells you that he believes if he had asked his counsel, 
his counsel would have been opposed to it. He says he is 
willing to be a witness for the Government if the Govern 
ment desires it, leaving you to infer that at that time no ar 
rangement had been made for him to be a witness ; that it 
was all in the regions of uncertainty ; that he had with 
drawn into the recesses of his own mind, and consulting 
with himself and nobody else had made up his mind to 
throw himself upon the mercy of the Government and the 
Court, and took that step without even allowing his coun 
sel to know what he was about to do. 

But he speaks further on the subject. I read from page 
2523. I was then examining him : 

Q. How did you come to do it ? A. I finally made up my mind to 
what I would do. I talked it over the evening before with my counsel. 

He so states under oath ; and yet when he stood up be 
fore this Court and withdrew his plea of not guilty, he said 
he acted without the knowledge of his counsel 

I read this to show you that the statement he made to 
the Court at the time he withdrew his plea was absolutely false. 
What next ? I will go on a little further. The same man Rerdell, 
after he had made up his mind to go over to the Government ; 
after he had made up his mind to swear away, if it was within 



364 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

his power, the liberty of S. W. Dorsey, admits, on page 2525, 
that he endeavored to get five thousand dollars from Mr. 
Dorsey. 

On page 2589 Mr. Rerdell swears positively that he did not 
know that he was to be used as a witness for the Government 
until he was called in court to take the stand. Let us look at 
the evidence of Mr. Bliss on page 2590. I will read you what 
he said : 

Mr. Buss. Your Honor, we propose to show, in substance, that this 
witness, for reasons with which we have nothing to do, connected 
with his own views of his own safety, from an early period was desir 
ous of being accepted by the Government as a witness ; that the 
counsel in the case refused to communicate with him or to have any 
thing to do with him until, in the presence of his own counsel, he was 
brought to Mr. Merrick's office, and there the whole thing was 
explained ; and that then for the first time the Government accepted 
his willingness to be a witness ; and they did it under circumstances 
which held out to him no inducement and which involved no training 
or anything of the kind by anybody representing the prosecution. 

Now, let us go to the next step. I want to be perfectly fair. 
On page 2591 Mr. Merrick asked Mr. Rerdell this question: 

Q. When did you first learn that you would be put upon the stand 
after pleading guilty ? A. It was the day before my plea was made 
in court. 

Yet when he rose to withdraw the plea he expressed his 
willingness to go upon the stand for the Government, leaving 
you to infer that no arrangement had been made, and he after 
wards finally swore that he did not know that he was to be 
called until he was called. 

These things, gentlemen, you must remember. 

On page 2515 Rerdell swears that on the Sunday after he 
got out of jail he proposed to Mr. Lilley to have Lilley act for 
him, and authorized Lilley to say to the Government that if 
the Government would accept him he would go on the stand 
and rebut Vaile. He told him that he had in his possession a 
letter or two of Mr. Vaile's. Rerdell tells you that he made 
this proposition on the i6th or i7th of September, 1882, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 365 

which was after he made the affidavit of June, 1881. On the 
same page he said it was just after Vaile went off the stand. 
That is my recollection. In the last trial Vaile testified on the 
4th of August, 1882. So about that time Rerdell, according 
to his testimony, went to Lilley and made a proposition to sell 
out then. When he made the affidavit of July 13, 1882, the 
trial was then in progress. The very next month, August, 
while the trial was still going on, that same man, having made 
the affidavit of July 13, 1882, went to his attorney, Mr. Lilley, 
and authorized him to say to the Government that Mr. Rer 
dell would take the stand to swear against Mr. Vaile. Re 
member another thing, gentlemen. The only thing he offered 
to do then to insure his own safety was to swear against 
Vaile. He did not offer to swear against Dorsey. He did 
not authorize Mr. Lilley to tell the Government about the 
pencil memorandum and the tabular statement and his letter 
to Bosler and Doisey's letter to Hosier and the Chico letter. 
Not a word. He simply went and wanted to sell some letters 
he had that had been written by Vaile. Why did he make that 
offer ? Because that was all he had. 

On page 2517 he says that nothing was said about pardon, 
but he says that Lilley told him that he thought he could get 
him off. What does that mean ? That means pardon. On 
page 2518 he swears that he saw Woodward in November in 
Hartford, and Woodward and he wrote out the statement, 
covering, I believe, about seventy pages of legal cap. Then 
Mr. Rerdell, on page 2519, swears that he never made an 
affidavit after that. Then he admits, on the same page, that 
the day before he came into court he met Mr. Woodward and 
made another affidavit. That was supplementary to the first. 
In the meantime he found some new papers. So we find, 
according to his testimony, these affidavits : 

On page 2521 we find that he made an affidavit in June, 
1881. Remember, gentlemen, that he swore to that affidavit 
three or four times. 

He made another affidavit in July, 1882, and another in 



366 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

September and November of the same year, and another in 
February, 1883. And yet he swears that he was not to have 
immunity. 

Now, gentlemen, one point more about his plea of guilty. 
After having withdrawn his plea of not guilty, alter rising in 
court and solemnly saying that he was guilty, and that he was 
guilty as charged in the indictment, which says that Rerdell 
conspired with Brady and Vaile and Miner and John W. Dor- 
sey and S. W. Dorsey and Turner, that they all conspired, 
and that all the false affidavits and false petitions and false 
everything else mentioned in the indictment were made for the 
common benefit of all, then on page 2570 he solemnly swears 
that he never entered into any conspiracy or agreement with 
the defendants mentioned in the indictment or any of them for 
the purpose of defrauding the Government. When I asked 
him, With whom did you conspire, when did you conspire, 
and what was the conspiracy ? he could not tell ; and yet he 
had stood up in court and admitted that he was guilty, and 
then on oath denied it. Did he not swear himself that after 
the division was made in the routes Stephen W. Dorsey had 
not the interest of a cent in any route that went to Vaile or 
Miner ? Did he not also swear that Vaile and Miner had not 
the interest of one cent in any route that went to Stephen W. 
Dorsey ? Did he not swear that they were not mutually in 
terested, and yet did he not stand up in court, and by a plea 
of guilty say that they were not only mutually interested, but 
he was one of the interested parties himself? It seems impos 
sible for that man to tell the truth on any subject whatever. 
On page 2571 he swears he never made any agreement with 
Vaile to defraud the United States. He stood up in court and 
admitted that he had. He swore that he never made any 
agreement with John W. Dorsey. He admitted that he had. 
He swore that he never made any agreement with S. W. 
Dorsey, and yet stood up in court and admitted that he had. 

Now let us see whether he expected immunity. He swears 
that he was taken to Mr. Merrick's office by Mr. Woodward 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

and his counsel. What Mr. Merrick told him we find on 
page 2590 : 

Q. And did I not say that, under the circumstances, the Govern 
ment would have nothing to do with you unless you pleaded guilty ? 
A. You did. 

Q. And that if you pleaded guilty you had nothing to trust to but 
the mercy of the Government and the Court ? A. That is what you 
did, sir, exactly. 

Now, on page 2523 : 

Q. Was it not arranged that Mr. Woodward was to come to your 
house and then take you to one of the attorneys for the prosecution, 
for the purpose of arranging the terms and conditions upon which 
you were to take the stand ? A. It was not. 

In another place he swears that it was, and that the ar 
rangement was carried out. 

The next point I wish to make, if the Court please, is that 
whenever what is called an accomplice or an informer turns 
what is called State's evidence, and whenever he is permitted 
by the court to be sworn as a witness in a case, there is then 
upon the part of the Government an implied promise that if 
he tells the truth he shall not be punished. I read from the 
Whiskey cases, 9 Otto, page 595. Mr. Justice Clifford de 
livers the opinion of the court. 

Courts of justice everywhere agree that the established usage i? 
that an accomplice duly admitted as a witness in a criminal prosecu 
tion against his associates in guilt, if he testifies fully and fairly, will 
not be prosecuted for the same offence, and some of the decided 
cases and standard text-writers give very satisfactory explanations of 
the origin and scope of the usage in its ordinary application in actual 
practice. 

The COURT. What point are you now making to the Court? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I am making this point : It appears from 
the evidence that Mr. Wilshire, the attorney of Mr. Rerdell 
told him at the time he was making up his mind whether he 
would go to the Government or not, about the whiskey 
cases. 

I make the point that when an accomplice turns State's 
evidence the State cannot prosecute him after that if he testi- 



368 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

fies fully and fairly ; that the usage is immemorial, and that 
there is not an exception in the records of all the cases in the 
books ; consequently that when Mr. Merrick told him, " You 
must look simply to the Government and to the Court and 
you will have just exactly what the law gives you and no 
more," his remarks meant that the law gave him perfect 
immunity, provided he went upon the stand and swore truth 
fully. 

The COURT. You have demonstrated, as far as you have 
been able to, that he has not sworn truthfully. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. He has not; HE HAS NOT; and if the 
Government will act fairly with him he will get no immunity. 

When he went to the Government he understood the law 
to be that if he swore fully and fairly, or if he swore in such a 
way that they could not prove that he did not swear fully and 
fairly, he was to have immunity. He understood that the 
more he swore against the defendants the better was his 
chance for immunity. He knew that the Government would 
never complain of any lie he swore against the defendants. 

Now, the next question is what is the law of accomplices, 
of informers? There was a remark made by Mr. Bliss in his 
speech, that they had plenty of evidence in this case without 
the testimony of Mr. Walsh or Mr. Moore or Mr. Rerdell ; 
plenty of evidence without the testimony of Mr. Rerdell. If 
that had been so then the Government had no right to put 
Mr. Rerdell on the stand. There is but one excuse for using 
the testimony of a man who pleads guilty, and that is that 
without his testimony a conviction cannot, in all probability, be 
obtained. And upon that point I refer to 10 Pickering, 
478, and to 9 Cowen, 711 ; and not only upon that point, but 
upon the point I made at first, that whenever you put such 
a man upon the stand that of itself amounts to a promise of 
absolute immunity : 

The object of admitting the evidence of accomplices is in order to 
effect the discovery and punishment of crimes which cannot be 
proved against the offenders without th6 aid of an accomplice's testi- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 369 

mony. In order to prevent this entire failure of justice recourse is 
had to the evidence of accomplices. i Phillips on Evidence, 107. 

If, therefore, there be sufficient evidence to convict without his 
testimony, the court will refuse to admit him as a witness Roscoe's 
Criminal Evidence, 127. 

Neither do I believe that Mr. Rerdell had a right to go 
upon the stand until his case was finally disposed of. Precisely 
the same language is used by Wharton on Criminal Evidence, 

439 : 

An accomplice is used by the Government because his evidence is 
necessary to a conviction. 

That is the opinion of Mr. Justice MacLean, in 4 MacLean's 
Circuit Court Reports, 103. 

Mr. MERRICK. If not improper I may remark that all those 
cases refer to a condition of things prior to the trial in which 
the party appears as the witness. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. The usual question is and the court de 
termines that question whether a man shall be a witness or 
not. 

The COURT. How can the court determine that without 
passing upon the evidence in the case ? That is not the duty 
of the court ; it belongs to the jury. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. The prosecuting attorney has to pass 
upon that himself when he makes up his mind to put him upon 
the stand ; and he only has the right to do that when he be 
lieves that no conviction can be had without that testimony. 

The COURT. Then it belongs to the prosecuting attorney. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I go further than that, and say that the 
prosecuting attorney cannot do that without consultation with 
the court, and without saying to the court that he believes no 
conviction can be had without that testimony. 

Mr. MERRICK. May I be allowed to suggest a point which 
probably you would like to comment upon that all these 
cases refer to accomplices prior to the trial. My own 
opinion in reference to the case was that I would not put 
Rerdell upon the stand until be bad pleaded guilty, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

The COURT. I do not see the ground for the distinction 
between the cases. Undoubtedly, when an accomplice goes 
over to the Government and offers his testimony, he does it 
always in the hope of pardon or immunity from pros 
ecution. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is all I want at present. I want it 
understood, if the Court please, that I shall argue to the 
jury that at the time he made up his mind to go to the 
Government, he understood that that meant immunity. 

The COURT. Oh, well, of course it did. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. The next point is that the Court has to 
take all his story or none ; and I read from the second 
volume of Starkie on Evidence, side-page 24 : 

In judging of the credit due to the testimony of an accomplice, it 
seems to be a necessary principle that his testimony must be wholly 
received as that of a credible witness or wholly rejected. His evi 
dence on points where he is confirmed by unimpeachable evidence is 
useless. The question is whether he is to be believed upon points 
where he received no confirmation. And of this the jury are to form 
their opinion from the nature of the testimony, his manner of deliver 
ing it, and the confirmation which it receives derived from other 
evidence which is unsuspected. If his character be established as a 
witness of truth, he is credible in matters where he is not corrobo 
rated. If, on the other hand, notwithstanding the corroboration 
upon particular points, doubts and suspicions still remain as to his 
credit, his whole testimony becomes useless. 

That is the point I want to make. If they are only to 
take his evidence where it is corroborated, they might as 
well have had the corroboration in the first place without 
him. 

Now, gentlemen, the evidence, in my judgment, shows, 
and shows beyond a doubt and I believe it is now admitted 
that at the time Mr. Rerdell made up his mind to go to 
the Government he expected that he was to have absolute 
immunity. You must judge of his evidence in the light of 
that fact, in the light of that knowledge, in the light of 
what had been told him by his counsel. Now, it is for you 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 371 

to say. You know something of this man. You have seen 
him from day to day. You saw his manner upon the stand. 
Why, they tell you that at one time he was overcome with 
emotion, and that that is evidence that he was telling the 
truth. It may be that there is left in that man some little 
spark of goodness still. When he was swearing, or en 
deavoring to swear, away the liberty of the man who had 
been his friend, may be at that time the memory of the past 
did for a moment rush upon him. He may have remem 
bered the thousand acts of kindness ; he may have remem 
bered the years of liberality; he may have remembered 
the days that he had spent beneath that hospitable roof ; he 
may have remembered the wife and children ; he may have 
remembered all these things, and for just that moment he 
may have realized what a wretch he was. In no other way 
can you account for his having emotion. 

But I am about through with that gentleman. I shall 
not take up your time in the remainder of my speech by 
commenting upon Mr. Rerdell. Let us finish his testimony 
now ; let us put him out of sight ; let us put him in his 
coffin, close the lid, nail it down : 

First nail affidavit of June 20, 1881 ; drive it in. 

Second nail the letter of July 5, 1882, when he says 
that affidavit of 1881 was made by the persuasion of Bosler; 
drive it in. 

Third nail affidavit of July 13, 1882, where he swears 
that they were all perfectly innocent. 

Fourth nail the pencil memorandum ; drive that in. 

Fifth nail the tabular statement that gave thirty-three 
and one-third per cent, to Brady ; drive it in. 

Sixth nail his pretended letter to Bosler telling about 
the advice of Brady ; drive that in. 

Seventh nail the letter he pretends that Dorsey, on the 
1 3th of May, 1879, wrote to Bosler, the copies being made 
by Miss White ; drive that in. 



372 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Wind his corpse up in the balance-sheets from the red 
books made by Donnelly. 

Then you want a plate for his coffin. Let us paste right 
on there the Chico letter, April 3, 1878. 

Now, we want grave-stones. Let us take the red books, 
put one at his head and one at his feet. 

And let his epitaph, written upon the red book placed 
at his head, be 

Up to this moment I have been faithful to every trust. 

My prayer to Gabriel is, "When you pass over that 
grave don't blow." Let him sleep. There are, there never 
were, there never will be twelve honest men who will 
deprive any citizen of his liberty upon the evidence of a 
man like Mr. Rerdell. It never happened ; it never will. 

And now, gentlemen, it becomes my duty to answer a few 
points made by the gentlemen who have addressed you on 
behalf of the Government. The first gentleman who ad 
dressed you was Mr. Ker, and he had something to say 
considerable to say about what are known as the Clenden- 
ning bonds. 

They claim, gentlemen, first, that an immense fraud was 
in view when these proposals I think they are proposals 
with accompanying bonds and oaths of sureties were sent to 
Mr. Clendenning. I wish to give you, in the first place, my 
explanation of this paper. See if I understand it. If you 
sent this paper to that officer or to that gentleman as a form 
to guide him in making up the bonds, you would only fill 
up that portion of the bond in giving him a sample which you 
wanted him to fill up, and you would fill it up in order to 
show him exactly how he was to fill it up ; and you would 
leave out that part which was already filled up in the bond. 
That is exactly what was done in this case. There was not 
one of those bonds that had an oath of the surety or the 
names of the sureties, because they were unknown. The 
names were unknown, and the amounts that the post* 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 373 

master would certify to, and so all that was left in blank in 
the bond sent. But this being only a sample, it was sent to 
him so that he might know how to fill up the bonds that 
were sent. Consequently that portion which was absolutely 
blank in the bond sent would be filled up as a guide to him, 
and that portion which was filled up in the bonds sent 
would be left blank in the guide, because he had nothing to 
do with that part. Now, that is all there is to it. 

What was left out, as they claim ? Why they claim that 
the name of the bidder was left out and the amount of the 
bid. It makes no difference. That is not the slightest evi 
dence of fraud, is it? 

What was the next thing? They were never used, never. 
No bond included in that bundle was ever accepted by the 
Government. No bonds were ever made, no contract ever 
based upon them, not a solitary cent taken from the Govern 
ment by those papers. Why, then, this secrecy ? Because 
when a man is in this business he does not want anybody else 
to know that he is bidding, in the first place ; and, in the 
second place, he does not want anybody to know the amount 
of the bid. If the amount of the bid is put in, then the per 
sons going security will know it, and they may tell. The 
postmaster who approves the security will know it, and he may 
tell. The object of the secrecy is not to defraud the Govern 
ment, but to prevent other people finding the amount of the bid 
and then underbidding. That is the object, and it is the only 
object. And yet this little, poor, dried-up bond, soaked in 
the water of suspicion, swells almost to bursting in the minds 
of the counsel for the prosecution. There is nothing of it. 
It was never worthy of mention, in the first place. You will 
never think of it when you retire. It will never enter your 
minds; but if it does, remember that the object of the secrecy 
was simply as a precaution against other bidders, and had 
nothing whatever to do with the Government. 

There is one other point. I believe Mr. Dorsey did say, in 
his examination-in-chief, that he did not talk to anybody about 



374 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

it, and it afterwards occurred that he did go and ask Mr. 
Edmunds whether what he had asked Clendenning to do was 
illegal or improper. To that contradiction you are welcome. 

Mr. Ker gives the date of Boone's circular to postmasters 
asking for information, and says it was dated December i, 
1879. Thereupon Mr. Merrick corrects him, and says it was 
in 1878. The Court does the same. As a matter of fact, these 
circulars were dated December, 1877. Gentlemen, I just 
simply speak of this to show how easy it is for people to be 
mistaken. Those circulars were gotten up for the purpose of 
getting information before bidding. All the bids were put in 
in February, 1878. The circulars were sent out, I believe, in 
November and December, 1877. And yet upon that one 
point Mr. Ker is mistaken two years. 

On page 4512 Mr. Ker states that Miner, in April, 1878, 
said to Moore that it all depended upon affidavits of the con 
tractors, and that " they were all good affidavit men." The 
object of this, if it had an object, was to show that this con 
spiracy was entered into with Moore, and that S. W. Dorsey 
was a part of it in April, 1878. The evidence of Moore is that 
the conversation took place, not in April, but in July, 1878, at 
the city of Denver. And yet Mr. Ker tells you that it was in 
April. 1878. It is not, perhaps, a very material point, but it 
simply serves to show you the manner in which this evidence 
is repeated to you by the counsel for the prosecution. 

At page 4537 Mr. Ker says that before J. W. Dorsey went 
West he made an arrangement with his brother to sell out his 
interest for ten thousand dollars; that he did this before he 
started West; that he did it before there was any service put 
on; and that these contracts were taken at such low figures; 
yet John W. Dorsey had raised his interest up to ten thousand 
dollars. Mr. Ker tells you that the evidence shows that before 
any service was put on and before John W. Dorsey went West 
he tried to sell out his interest for ten thousand dollars. Now, 
what was the object in making this statement, unless it was 
pure forgetfulness ? Why it was to connect Vaile with this 
business some time in April, 1878. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 375 

On pages 4100 and 4102 J. W. Dorsey swears that he was 
here in Washington in November, 1878 ; before that time he 
had gone to the Tongue River route; he had come back from 
Bismarck; and it was then, not in April; it was then, not be 
fore he went West; it was then, not before any service was 
put on, that he talked with Vaile about selling out to him for 
ten thousand dollars; and it was in November that he left the 
instructions for his brother to sell to Vaile. It was not in 
April; it was not before he went West; it was not before any 
service was put on. 

At page 4540 Mr. Ker states that 

Dorsey held thirty-three routes, and there was not one of them, I 
suppose, that was not expedited to the fullest extent. 

What evidence is there of that ? Is there any evidence that 
any route of Dorsey' s was expedited not mentioned in this 
indictment? 

Did not Mr. Ker know whether the routes had been 
expedited or not? Did not I offer in this court to prove 
what was done with every solitary route we had ? I say to the 
gentleman that the other routes were not expedited. I say to 
the gentleman that only two other routes were, and we were 
not interested in them. And I say also that they know the 
record, and they knew the record when this statement was 
made; but they may have forgotten it. But is it fair, gentle 
men, for a prosecuting officer to state to you that he supposed 
all the routes of Dorsey were expedited? One of those in the 
indictment was not expedited ; and not a route outside of the 
indictment belonging to Dorsey, in which he had an interest, 
was expedited. So much for that statement. 

At page 4546 you are told by Mr. Ker that 

Nobody ever heard of expedition on a route before. 

We proved what form of contracts had been in the Post- 
Office Department for twenty years, and proved that in every 
one of them there was a clause for expedition. So much for 
that evidence, gentlemen. 



376 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

At page 4546 Mr. Ker tells us that J. W. Dorsey testified 

That the routes were taken so low as to cut out other people, but 
that they knew they were to be expedited, and they knew they were 
to be increased. 

J. W. Dorsey testified upon that subject, and his testimony 
will be found at page 4085 : 

Q. Did you have an arrangement by which you should bid an ex 
tremely small amount on the routes, with the further understanding 
that the service was to be increased and expedited ? A. No, sir ; I 
never thought of such a thing. 

And in his entire testimony in chief and cross, I believe there 
is not another question on that subject. 

On page 4549, referring to the letter of John M. Peck, 
which was in fact written by Miner, Mr. Ker says : 

Cedarville ought to have had as many mails as the other points be 
tween, according to the order, but they were going to supply it only 
once a week. 

As a matter of fact, gentlemen, this letter was written on 
the 22d of October, 1878, and at the time the letter was 
written the mail, according to the contract, was carried only 
once a week on that route, and consequently Cedarville would 
have had exactly the same mail as any other point ; that is to 
say, once a week. 

Page 556 of the record shows that three trips a week were 
put upon this route to Loup City with a schedule of thirteen 
hours, but not until the loth of July, 1879, nine months after 
this letter was written. 

On page 4609 Mr. Ker, in commenting upon an affidavit on 
the Toquerville and Adairville route, reads from the evidence 
of John W. Dorsey, citing page 3945, and ends at this question 
and answer : 

Q. It was done so entirely, was it not ? A. It ought to have been so. 

Now, let me read you the balance : 

Q. Was it not so done ? A. No, sir. 
Q It was not? A. No, sir. 
Q For whose benefit was it done ? A. He- 
Meaning Rerdell 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 377 

stole five thousand dollars on that route, or very nearly that four 
thousand nine hundred dollars on that very route. 

Q. When did he steal that five thousand dollars ? A. About a year 
ago or a year and a half; I do not remember the time. 

Q. From whom ? A. From Mr. Bosler and myself. 

Q. At what time? A. I should think in February, 1882. 

The question now arises, did Mr. Rerdell take this money as 
charged ? Read now from the record, at pages 734 and 735, 
and you will find in the last line of the tabular statement intro 
duced in this case that on this very route four thousand eight 
hundred and twenty-seven dollars and eighty-three cents was 
paid to M. C. Rerdell as subcontractor on that route. We 
also find that it was paid on the 4th of February, 1882. This 
is the money that Dorsey swears Rerdell stole, and that gentle 
man never took the stand to deny it. 

At page 4616, Mr. Ker, after going over all the evidence 
with regard to the affidavits as to the impossibility of the num 
ber of men and horses doing the service rendered necessary 
by the affidavit, comes to the following conclusion : That 
under the oath the proportion was, as nine to twenty-three ; 
that under the oath of Johnson the real proportion should 
have been, and was, eight to twenty-two. 

In other words, the real proportion, according to Mr. Ker's 
own statement, would have taken more money from the 
Treasury than the wrong proportion made under the fraudu 
lent affidavit, and that was nine to twenty-three. Nine into 
twenty-three goes twice and five-ninths ; that is, two hundred 
and fifty-five per cent, and a fraction. That is the fraudulent 
proportion. Mr. Ker says that the real proportion was not 
as nine into twenty-three, but as eight to twenty two. Eight 
into twenty-two goes twice and six-eighths ; that is to say, 
two and three-quarters : that is to say, two hundred and 
seventy-five per cent. The fraudulent proportion, according 
to his claim, only gave us two hundred and fifty-five per cent. 
The real proportion, which Mr. Ker admits was right, accord 
ing to the evidence of Johnson, would have given us two 
hundred and seventy-five per cent. In other words, we got 



37 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

twenty per cent, less under the fraud than we would under 
the evidence of Johnson that Mr. Ker admits to be correct. 
Finding that it is twenty per cent, less under the fraudulent 
affidavit than under Johnson's estimate, he shouts fraud. 

On page 4617 Mr. Ker tells us that Sanderson " had no 
more to do with the route than you or I had." On page 731 
I find that Mr. Sanderson drew all the money on the route 
from Saguache to Lake City, I believe, with one exception 
the third quarter of one year 1878, it may be. He drew 
every dollar upon that route, anyhow, up to February 17, 
1882, except for one quarter. And yet Mr. Ker stood up be 
fore you and said that Sanderson "had no more to do with 
the route than you or I had." 

Let us see if we have any more evidence. I find on page 
3271 a subcontract executed on route 38150, from Saguache to 
Lake City, by Miner, Peck & Company to Sanderson for the 
whole time until June 30, 1882. I find that subcontract is 
signed by John R. Miner and J. L. Sanderson. This contract 
was to be from the ist of July, 1878, and was made the I5th 
of May, 1878, and here it is in evidence. The evidence is 
that the contract was made between Miner, Peck & Company 
and Sanderson ; the evidence also is that Sanderson drew the 
pay. And yet Mr. Ker stands up before you and says that 
Sanderson " had no more to do with the route than you or I 
had." 

The subcontract, gentlemen, states that Sanderson is to 
have the entire pay, and it was before the contract term began. 
So much for that. 

Mr. KER. When was it filed ? 

Mr. WILSON. That does not make any difference. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. " When was it filed? " There was a trial 
in my town of a suit against the city, I believe, for allowing a 
culvert to get filled up and flood a man's cellar. They brought 
in evidence to prove, don't you see, that the culvert was not 
filled up, and one witness swore that the day before the rain 
he saw a dog go through there. One of the jurors got up and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 379 

said that he would like to ask a question ; he said, "What 
was the color of that dog ? ' ' 

On page 4631 Mr. Ker states that during the investigation 
by Congress 

Contractors got out printed letters and sent them to every subcon 
tractor upon every star route in the country, asking them to write to 
their members of Congress urging their members of Congress to vote 
for this appropriation. 

On page 1346 is Rerd ell's letter upon this very route, in 
which not one word is said about the contractor doing any 
thing one way or the other. There is no evidence that any 
other letter was written on that route. I call your attention 
to it to show how the prosecution strained every possible 
point, and how they endeavored to patch and piece and putty 
and veneer this evidence. Mr. Miner wrote a letter (page 
669). I do not remember any other evidence upon this sub 
ject. And certainly it would be impossible to write a milder 
letter than Mr. Miner wrote. He did not ask the people to 
get up petitions against reduction, or ask for more service. 
Here is what he says, and I will read you Mr. Miner's letter : 

It will be well for the people of your section to send to the member 
of Congress from your district such petitions as will express their 
opinions on the subject of this reduction. 

Truly, yours, 

JNO. R. MINER, Aft. 

Could you write a milder letter than that, to save your life, 
and refer to the subject ? Could you write a fairer letter than 
that, to save your life ? 

He does not say, " Get up petitions against it." He does 
not say, " Send those petitions to your member of Congress 
and tell him to do what he can to prevent it." Not one word 
of that kind. 

Yet that is considered as evidence of fraud ; that is consid 
ered as evidence of conspiracy. 

The next point made is that Mr. Ker states, at page 4632, 
that Brady endeavored to bribe the members of Congress into 
making this appropriation by doubling every star route in the 



380 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Southern and Middle States, and did so during the Congres 
sional investigation. What are the facts ? The deficiency bill 
passed April 7, 1880. That appropriated money only for the 
purpose of carrying the mails up to June 30, 1880. The 
regular appropriation bill was passed at the same session, and 
appropriated money to carry the mails from the ist of July, 
1880. Now let us see if Brady doubled the trips in these 
Southern and Middle States during that investigation. On 
P a g e 3393 Brady says : 

Practically on July i, 1880, we doubled up the entire service for all 
the Southern and Middle States. 

This was after the deficiency bill had passed ; it was after the money 
appropriated by that bill had been expended ; and it was paid for out 
of the regular appropriation for the Post-Office Department. 

Yet that was a bribe. It just shows that Congress by the 
regular appropriation indorsed the policy of Mr. Key to have 
a daily mail to every place where there was a county-seat. 

At page 4652, on the route from Mineral Park to Pioche, 
there were two petitions, marked 17 K and 18 K. It is some 
what singular that the Government brought no persons whose 
names are on these petitions to show that they had not 
authorized their names to be signed thereto, but they brought 
persons to show that the signatures were not genuine. 

On page 1621 the witness Wright swears that the names 
are the same on both petitions. He is then asked if he knows 
the signatures of any other people, and he says " Yes." He 
then says that the signature of John Deland is not genuine. 
He swears that he knows nearly every one of the people. He 
is then asked whether these signatures are in the handwriting 
of the people, and he replies that he thinks not. Then he is 
asked as to the signature of Cornell, and he says : 

That is not in his handwriting. 

Here is his cross-examination, gentlemen : * * * 

I asked him, " Do you know these people; " made him swear 
that he knew Mr. Street ; that he knew the signatures of 
many ; that he knew these people. I proved where they were 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 381 

living ; that they are living in the country now, good, respect 
able, honest people. And yet the Government did not bring 
one man whose name had been written here to prove that he 
had not authorized it. Why ? Because they could not. They 
knew by the testimony here that the petitions were absolutely 
and perfectly honest. And it is in that way that they seek to 
deprive men of their liberty. They did not call a man whose 
name appeared on those petitions to say that his signature was 
not genuine or not authorized. I proved that many of them 
are still living and first-rate men. 

Now, gentlemen, you remember besides that, that Mr. H. 
S. Stevens, the delegate from that Territory, recommended 
the same thing asked for by those petitions (pages 1635, 1636), 
where it was admitted by counsel for the Government that the 
letters of Stevens were genuine. It is upon that same route 
that General Fremont also wrote a letter (page 1636). And I 
will show you that the names are exactly or substantially the 
same on 18 K as those found at pages 1638 and 1639. 

Mr. Ker and Mr. Bliss both endeavored to show that there 
were no petitions on this route, and that it was simply done on 
a letter. If you will look at page 1603 you will find the evi 
dence of Mr. Krider, who was postmaster at Mineral Park, in 
which he says there were petitions. 

In order to show that there was a conspiracy between these 
parties, or between Dorsey and Vaile, or Dorsey, Rerdell, and 
Vaile, Mr. Ker called the attention of the jury to two letters, 
one written by Rerdell to the Sixth Auditor, and one written 
by Vaile. Here is a letter dated the 2ist of August, 1880. It 
is introduced, of course, to show that there was a conspiracy 
at that time between Mr. Vaile and Mr. Dorsey. It was written 
by Mr. Rerdell to the Sixth Auditor : 

To THE SIXTH AUDITOR : 

SIR : H M. Vaile was subcontractor on route 40104 during the first 
quarter of 1879. In the first settlement for that quarter Vaile was paid 
for certain expedited service it was subsequently discovered that the 
expedition thus paid for was never performed the department 



382 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

therefore, and very properly, too, charged back to the route the 
amount thus paid for expedition never performed, viz, some two thou 
sand eight hundred dollars. 

Meanwhile Vaile, who alone was in fault, had ceased to have any 
connection with the route the charging back, therefore, fell on the 
wrong man, the man who was in no way responsible for the non -per 
formance of the expedition, except so far as he stood between the 
department and the subcontractor. 

It is true that this payment was made by the regular contractor to 
the subcontractor, but it is equally true that it was, in a measure, a 
compulsory payment. By the rules of the Post-Office Department it 
is made obligatory on the regular contractor to pay the subcontractor 
before the department will settle with him it is not, therefore, a pay 
ment as between two individuals. The receipt is on the form pre 
scribed by the Post-Office Department, and is witnessed by (the then) 
Postmaster Edmunds, as the rules prescribe. It is on file in the 
Post-Office Department, and I maintain that our covenants were ful 
filled when we put the receipt on file. If Vaile had performed the 
service as he agreed he would do, and for doing which he received 
this money, we should have been reimbursed by a certificate of serv 
ice from the contract office. Now, will you permit Vaile to take ad 
vantage of his own wrong, and thus enable him to defraud another 
man out of his money? 

I refrain from discussing the question as to what would be the duty 
of the department if Vaile, who had received the money wrongfully, 
had ceased to have any connection with the department, because it is 
not pertinent to this issue ; if it were, I could cite you to many 
authorities and precedents to the effect that even then it would be 
your duty to refund the money to me. But this is not necessary, 
because Vaile is still doing business with the department. 

He is subcontractor on route 44156 for the full contract pay, which 
is twenty-two thousand dollars per annum, hence the department will 
have no difficulty in reimbursing itself for what was, in simple truth, 
an overpayment. 

I think you will agree with me when I ask that this money be re 
funded to the subcontractor on route 40104 and charged to route 
44156, because it is simply correcting an error. You have the same 
authority to charge it to one as you have to charge it to the other, 
and you have already charged it to me. 

The law-merchant would experience no difficulty in adjusting a mat 
ter of this sort. The merchant who would refuse to correct an error of 
this character would be justly called a lame duck, and would be 
scouted from "'Change." Vaile was erroneously paid for the per 
formance of a service which he never did perform. Therefore I 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 383 

ask that he be compelled to render unto Caesar the things that he 
ceasers. 

Respectfully, 

M. C. RERDELL. 
Acting for himself and for the regular contractor on route 40104. 

That is to show also, gentlemen, that there was a conspiracy 
between Vaile and Rerdell. Now, Mr. Vaile wrote a letter 
also to the same man. I will read it : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 9, 1880. 
Hon. J. McGREW : 

SIR : In reply to yours of July 8th, relating to the Jennings case, I 
would state that I did not receive the money in manner and form as 
stated by one M. C. Rerdell, nor was the draft of J. W. Dorsey, on 
said route 40104, for the quarter named, to get an advance of money 
for myself or for my own use. 

At the time I receipted for my pay as subcontractor on said route 
I did not, in fact, receive any money, but did so receipt that J. W. 
Dorsey might negotiate his draft on said route, and for no other 
purpose. 

Although I was subcontractor of record on said route at the time 
named, I was not a subcontractor in my own behalf, but as trustee 
for J. W. Dorsey, S. W. Dorsey, Isaac Jennings, and others, to collect 
said money and pay it over as said parties should direct. I further 
state that all money that ever came into my hands from said route I 
did pay over to the parties named as trustee, as by them directed. 

Acting as trustee of said Jennings, and believing that he had per 
formed the mail service on said route as by him agreed, and in ac 
cordance with the laws and regulations of the Post-Office Depart 
ment, I did pay said Jennings, on the ist day of April, 1879, the sum 
of $1,257. 73, the sum of money he was entitled to provided he had 
carried the mail three days per week on the schedule required, which 
I fully believed at that time he had done, and for a long time after. 

I further state that I am informed that said Jennings is not respon 
sible ; that it would be utterly impossible for me to receive back the 
$2,800, or any part thereof; that in fact this sum of money sought to 
be collected of me, if collected for said Jennings's benefit, or go into 
his hands in addition to the sum he now has unlawfully, doubly 
remunerating him for his neglect of duty. 

I further state that all the money collected on said route not paid 
to said Jennings was paid to liquidate the debts of J. W. Dorsey, S. 
W. Dorsey, and others previously contracted, and not one dollar ever 
remained in my hands. 

I further state I believe both J. W. Dorsey and S. W. Dorsey are 



384 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

irresponsible, and it would be impossible for me to collect any part 
of said money from the;n. As abjve stated, said money came into 
my hand only as their agent or trustee, and at once paid out as they 
directed ; that my subcontract was put on file simply to enable J W. 
Dorsey to negotiate his draft on said route, when in fact said Jen 
nings was the real subcontractor. Said Jennings agreed to perform 
the service on said route strictly in accordance with the laws and 
regulations of the department, for the annual sum of $12,600.00, the 
duplicate of which contract was delivered over to S. W. Dorsey by 
myself, and which I believe is now in the hands of M. C. Rerdell, and 
which, or a copy thereof, I demand shall be filed with you in this 
case, that you may see what said Jennings agreed to do. 

This is certainly a strange claim. Jennings agreed to perform mail 
service on said route. I believed he had done it, and paid him accord 
ingly. It turns out long after he did not properly perform the service, 
but was attempting a swindle, and a deduction is ordered for not 
performing the service properly. Then this man, the guilty party, 
having got money from me, as trustee, wrongfully, as well as from 
the Government, and asks that the Auditor compel me to pay him 
the sum of $2,800.00, when, as I am informed, he is seeking to get 
this same deduction remitted. 

Surely if he succeeded in all this he will make a good thing out of 
his rascality and I a good victim without remedy. I state again I did 
not hypothecate said draft for myself, did not receive one cent as 
subcontractor, but became the payee of said draft that said J. W. 
Dorsey might negotiate it, and I to dispose of the proceeds as he 
should direct, all of which I did. Therefore I request you not to 
compel me to pay the sum of money asked, but if I am liable at all 
let the parties seek their redress at law, where all the facts can be 
obtained and justice rendered me. And it is also well known that I 
am a man of means, and any judgment rendered against me could and 
would be collected, dollar for dollar. 

I am, very respectfully, 

H. M. VAILE. 

That was introduced to show that at the time Vaile was in 
a conspiracy with S. W. Dorsey. Why did they introduce 
it? Simply for one line in it in which he says he was acting 
as the trustee of S. W. Dorsey. He was. How ? Dorsey 
had advanced money. The routes were liable, and the per 
sons who held the routes had agreed to refund it. The sub 
contracts were made to Vaile, and Vaile agreed out of the 
proceeds of the route to pay the debt to S. W, Dorsey, TQ 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 385 

that extent he was the trustee of S. W. Dorsey. Dorsey 
swears it. Vaile admits it, and we all claim it to be true. 
And yet they introduced that letter simply because that line 
was there. Now, gentlemen, I have read both of those let 
ters, and I want you to remember them if you can, and tell 
me whether at that time Vaile and Dorsey were in a conspir 
acy together to defraud this Government. And yet the Gov 
ernment introduced this letter just to prove that one thing, 
and no more. 

On the Julian and Colton route there is this peculiarity : The 
Government failed to prove the number of men and horses 
necessary on the original schedule for three-times-a week serv 
ice, and consequently we are left without any standard by 
which to judge ; without any standard by which to measure. 

On page 4685 Mr. Ker calls attention to the fact that the 
proposal marked 6 P, originally contained an offer to carry 
the mail at thirty-six hours for seven thousand seven hundred 
and twenty-two dollars additional, but he states that the 
thirty-six was rubbed out and twenty-six was put in its place. 

That is, they offered to carry it in thirty-six hours for seven 
thousand and odd dollars, and then afterwards fraudulently, 
of course, rubbed out the thirty-six and inserted twenty-six. 
But they did not change the sum for which they offered to 
carry it. They offered to carry it in thirty-six hours for seven 
thousand seven hundred and twenty-two dollars, and afterwards 
they rubbed out the thirty -six and put in twenty-six, and then 
offered to carry it in twenty-six hours for seven thousand 
seven hundred and twenty-two dollars. The question arises, 
how did that hurt the Government ? The question arises, was 
that a fraud ? If it had been originally twenty-six hours and 
they had rubbed out those figures and put in thirty-six hours, 
then you might say the intention was to defraud the Govern 
ment. But the proposition had to be accepted after that was 
done, and consequently in no event could the Government be 
defrauded by the change of the proposal before the Govern 
ment accepted the proposal. I might say to a man, "I will 



386 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

let you have a house and lot for ten thousand dollars." He 
does not accept the proposal. Have I not the right on 
the next day to charge him twelve thousand dollars for 
it? Is that a fraud? If I tell him, "You may have it for 
ten thousand dollars," and he accepts, then, as an honorable 
man, I cannot change the proposal. But if I tell him he may 
have it for twelve thousand dollars and then afterwards tell him 
he may have it for ten thousand dollars, Mr. Ker calls that a 
fraud of two thousand dollars. If one of the jury should give 
me a contract to deliver one hundred horses for ten thou 
sand dollars, and I should scratch out the one hundred and 
put in seventy-five, certainly you would not consider your 
self defrauded. Or if I agreed to carry the mail in thirty 
hours for the Government for seven thousand seven hun 
dred and twenty-two dollars, and then afterwards changed 
and said I would carry it in ten hours less time for the same 
price, can that be tortured into a fraud unless I might be in 
dicted for defrauding myself? 

On page 4569 Mr. Ker says that Mr. Farrish, who was the 
subcontractor says : 

I always carried the mail in from six to ten hours before expedition. 
I carried the mail from Greenhorn to Pueblo. I did not stop at 
Saint Charles. 

On page 835 Mr. Farrish says he carried the mail for three 
months in 1881. That is the only time Farrish carried the 
mail. This route was expedited on the 26th day of June, 1879, 
and yet Mr. Ker says that Farrish carried the mail before it 
was expedited and carried it in from six to ten hours. Mr. 
Farrish did not carry the mail until about two years after it 
had been expedited. 

On page 4768 Mr. Ker, speaking of the two affidavits 
on the route from Pueblo to Rosita, laughs at the idea that 
the proportion was the same in both. 

Now, what is the proportion in both ? One affidavit says 
that on the then schedule it would take eight men and horses ; 
that is, the horses and men added together make eight, and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 387 

that on the proposed schedule it would take twenty-four. Then 
they would be entitled to just three times the money they were 
receiving on the original schedule, because three times eight 
are twenty-four. Let me explain here what I mean by pro 
portion. If I am carrying the mail with, say, four horses and 
two men, making a total of six, and if then that service is in 
creased so that it takes twelve men and horses, I get twice the 
original pay ; if it takes eighteen men and horses, I get three 
times the original pay. You understand that there is always a 
relation between the pay and the number of men and horses 
used. If I am using one man and one horse and am getting 
a thousand dollars for the service, and if it is expedited so that 
I have to use two men and two horses, I would get two thou 
sand dollars. In the first affidavit they had eight men and 
horses. If they put up the service to what they were going 
to, it would take twenty-four. Three times eight are twenty- 
four. Then they would get three times the original amount 
of money. In the second affidavit he swears that it takes 
fifteen men and animals on the present schedule, and on the 
proposed schedule it would take forty-five men and animals. 
Three times fifteen are forty-five. Three times eight are twenty- 
four. You see that on both affidavits you get the same amount 
of money to a cent, because the proportion is absolutely and 
exactly the same. Yet Mr. Ker laughs at the idea of the pro 
portion being the same. It took eight men and horses in the 
first affidavit on the present schedule, and twenty-four on the 
proposed schedule. There the contractor would be entitled to 
three times the original sum. In the next affidavit it took 
fifteen men and horses on the original schedule and forty-five 
men and horses on the proposed schedule. Again, he would 
be entitled to three times the original sum. 

On page 4579 Mr. Ker says the oath was put in for three 
trips. By looking at page 867 we find that it was for seven 
trips and not three. There is nothing like accuracy. 

On page 4580 Ker says that Brady had on the jacket before 
him the evidence that Hansom was a subcontractor at three 



388 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

thousand one hundred dollars a year, and the contract gave 
the contractor a clear profit of five thousand and forty-eight 
dollars. The fact is, that Brady's order was made on July 
8, 1879. That order is on page 866. Hansom's subcontract 
was filed October 22, 1879, about three month's after Brady's 
order was made. And yet Mr. Ker tells you that on that 
jacket when Brady made the order he had notice of Han 
som's subcontract. Unless he had the gift of seeing into the 
future he knew nothing about it. He would have had to see 
into the future three months in order to have had it before him 
at that time. 

On page 4703 Mr. Ker says that the letter of J. W. Dorsey, 
written April 26, 1879, referred to the Perkin's affidavit as not 
putting the number of men and animals high enough. Let us 
see. Another case of arithmetic. The letter refers to Dorsey's 
statement transmitted with the letter. It could not be the way 
stated by Mr. Ker for the following reasons : The affidavit of 
Perkins said three men and six animals one trip a week on the 
then time. That makes nine. On one trip a week with the re 
duction to eighty-four hours, eight men and twenty-four ani 
mals would be required. That makes thirty-two. The pro 
portion then gives three and five-ninths or three hundred and 
fifty-five per cent, increase of pay. That is the affidavit, he 
says, that Dorsey wrote out and said was not high enough, and 
then fixed up one that was. The affidavit that John W. Dorsey 
sent in the letter says that it will require for three trips a week 
on the then time four men and twelve animals, making six 
teen ; on the proposed schedule for the same number of trips 
eleven men and thirty-two animals, making forty-three. As 
sixteen is to forty-three that is, two hundred and sixty-nine 
per cent, increase of pay. Now, that letter, he says, claims 
that the Perkins affidavit did not put it high enough. I say 
that he did not refer to the Perkins affidavit. He could not say 
that did not put it high enough, because that put it at three 
hundred and fifty-five per cent. , and the affidavit he inclosed in 
the letter, put it at two hundred and sixty-nine per cent. 



CLOSING ADDfcESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 389 

nearly one hundred per cent. less. According to Mr. Ker he 
was complaining that that affidavit was too low, and so he in 
closed one, one hundred per cent, lower. That will not do. 
Besides all that the affidavit of John W. Dorsey is for forty- 
five hours, while the first affidavit, I believe, is for eighty- four 
hours. John W. Dorsey offers to carry it in forty-five hours 
for two hundred and sixty-nine per cent., and the other 
affidavit on the basis of eighty-five hours calls for three hun 
dred and fifty-five per cent. Do you not see, gentlemen, it is 
utterly impossible to believe that ? 

On page 4738 Mr. Ker again falls into mathematics. He 
says that Mr. Brady allowed on the Bismarck route for three 
hundred men and three hundred horses. 

I tell you this prosecution ought to go into the stock busi 
ness. One hundred and fifty men and one hundred and fifty 
horses were called for by the affidavit. Now, Mr. Ker says 
when Brady doubled the trips he doubled the horses, and 
when he doubled the trips he doubled the men. That would 
make three hundred men and three hundred horses. If he 
had doubled the trips again he would have had six hundred 
men and six hundred horses, enough cavalry to have pro 
tected that entire frontier. Yet after all the Bismarck and 
Tongue River business, Mr. Vaile comes in and swears, on 
page 4062, that the loss on that route to Vaile and Miner was 
at least fifty thousand dollars ; and Mr. Miner swears that the 
loss on the route was between forty and fifty thousand dollars. 
Vaile says if he had known at that time of the clause in the 
contract by which he could have gotten out of it he would 
have abandoned the route, but that he had not read a contract 
for ten or twelve years. Now, as a matter of fact, gentlemen, 
and it seems to me the prosecution ought to be perfectly fair, 
Brady allowed only forty per cent, of the affidavit made in 
regard to the one hundred and fifty men and the one hundred 
and fifty horses, and yet according to Mr. Ker he allowed for 
three hundred men and three hundred horses ; instead of 
allowing for forty per cent, of one hundred and fifty men and 



390 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STA.R ROUTE TRIAL. 

one hundred and fifty horses, he allowed for one hundred per 
cent. more. That would have run the pay up, I should think, 
to about a million dollars. Mr. Ker also says that Mr. Vaile 
swears that he induced Brady to give an extension to August 
i5th, and thereupon Mr. Ker makes the remarkable state 
ment that Vaile did not do it ; that Boone did it ; I am very 
thankful for the admission. From that it appears that Boone 
was more potent with Brady than Vaile was. 

If he was, why did they have to get somebody close to 
Brady ? Afterwards we are told by Mr. Ker that Mr. Boone 
was kicked out to make a place for Vaile, so as to get a man 
close to Brady. 

Mr. KER. Will you tell me what page it was I spoke about 
Boone ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It was Mr. Bliss. It is Mr. Bliss's turn to 
explain now. The notes that I have were handed to me by 
another, and I supposed referred to Mr. Ker. Mr. Bliss said : 

This, I think, can leave no doubt in the minds of any one that the 
extension was obtained by Mr. Boone. 

Mr. Bliss says that on page 4899, and so I will relieve Mr. 
Ker of that charge. 

Mr. KER. I am glad to be relieved of something. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I do not want to do any injustice to Mr. 
Ker ; between Mr. Bliss and Mr. Ker I am perfectly impartial. 

Mr. Ker attacks the affidavit made by Vaile on the Vermil- 
lion and Sioux Falls route. Let us get at the facts. The 
route was let as fifty miles long. That is the distance that 
was given in the advertisement by the Government. They 
wanted expedition on that route. The Government asked for 
it. Mr. Vaile asked if he could make the affidavit, and he 
made it, supposing the route was fifty miles long. He never 
had been over it. It turned out that it was about seventy- 
three miles long, and consequently the affidavit provided for 
too fast time. The affidavit called for ten hours. That made 
over seven miles an hour ; or, including the stoppages, I pre 
sume about ten miles an hour. The difficulty arose out of the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 391 

mistake in the distance. Vaile so swears, on page 4030. He 
also swears that he went to the department and there saw Mr. 
Brewer, who was in charge of that bureau, or at least of that 
business, and it was Brewer who suggested to him to make 
the affidavit. Mr. Vaile did not ask for any expedition on 
that route. Mr. Brewer spoke to him about it. Mr. Vaile 
swears that Brewer spoke to him first. Mr. Vaile swears that 
he made the affidavit at the instigation of Mr. Brewer. Mr. 
Bliss says Brewer is an honest man, and calls him honest 
Brewer. Why did he not call honest Brewer to the stand and 
let him deny that he asked Mr. Vaile to make that affidavit ? 

The COURT. Yes. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Resuming]. If the Court please, and gen 
tlemen of the jury, on page 4645 there is the letter from Miner 
to Carey. 

JOHN CAREY, Esq., 

Fort McDermitt, Nev. 

DEAR SIR : One S. H. Abbott, who was postmaster at Alvord, I 
find, by accident, is writing to the department that you do not pay 
your bills, and that there is no need of anything more than a weekly 
mail. 

I wish you would see this man at once and satisfy him ; pay him 
whatever is reasonable and report to R. C. Williamson, at The Dalles. 
I suppose that is what he is after. He knows nothing of the through 
mail, and probably a weekly is all he needs ; but more likely he 
wants some money. He complained once before to the department 
that he had to make a special trip to Camp McDermitt to make his 
returns, and I sent him thirty dollars, and it was all right. Now, I 
suppose, he wants a little more money. Yours, &c., 

JOHN R. MINER. 

That letter was introduced to show that there was a con 
spiracy between Miner and Brady ; and yet when that man 
complained that the service was not put on at the time 
it should have been, and that he was postmaster, was 
forced to carry his returns to the nearest post-office, and 
consequently spent about thirty dollars, Miner sent him the 
money. Why? Because he and Brady were not confeder 
ates ; because they were not conspirators. For that reason 



392 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

he sent the man thirty dollars. The letter says, "The man 
that was postmaster." When this letter was written Mr. 
Abbott was not postmaster ; he had ceased to be postmaster. 
Yet they have endeavored to impress upon you the idea that 
when this letter was written to Abbott he was then post 
master. He had written a letter, stating that a weekly 
mail was all that was wanted, and that Mr. Carey did not 
pay his bills. Mr. Miner wrote to Carey on that account, 
"The man is trying to make trouble. He tried to make 
trouble once before, and we sent him thirty dollars. He is 
not postmaster now. He has no official position. Go and 
see him. Give him what is reasonable, and tell him to mind 
his own business." Why? If he had been in a conspiracy 
with Brady he would not care what Mr. Abbott wrote to 
the department. If he was absolutely certain there he 
would not care anything about it. But having no arrange 
ment with the Second Assistant, having no arrangement of 
the kind set forth in the indictment, he did not want Mr. 
Abbott to write letters ; he did not want Mr. Abbott to 
make trouble. That letter, instead of showing that there 
was a conspiracy, shows absolutely that there was not, and 
the letter was not written to him while he was an official. 
The man was not then postmaster. He simply had been. 

The next point made by Mr. Ker is a very powerful 
point, that Mr. Vaile came from Independence, where the 
James boys came from, and where they steal horses. 
Suppose I should say that Mr. Ker comes from Phila 
delphia, the town that Mr. Phipps lives in, the man who 
stole the roof off of the poorhouse. Would there be any 
argument in that ? 

Mr. Ker says that J. W. Dorsey wrote in his letter that 
the profits would be one hundred thousand dollars a year. 
That was a mistake. I turn to the letter and I find that it 
says one hundred thousand dollars in the life of the con 
tract, and not one hundred thousand dollars a year. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 393 

Mr. BLISS. Your Honor, I claim the right to call attention 
to the fact that Mr. Ker read the letter in full referring to 
the one hundred thousand dollars clear of expenses. He 
read it and then followed it by the statement of one hun 
dred thousand dollars a year, which was obviously a 
mistake. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That only makes it worse. After he 
had read the letter to the jury, and while the echoes of the 
letter were still in the court-room, he then said one hun 
dred thousand dollars a year, while the letter said one 
hundred thousand dollars within the life of the contract. 
Upon such statements, gentlemen, they expect to strip a 
citizen of his liberty. [To counsel for the Government.] 
You will have some work to do in a little while. It may 
be that Mr. Ker forgets these things. I do not say how it 
happened. 

Mr. Ker also tells you that Miner wanted to cut out S. 
\V. Dorsey and J. W. Dorsey and Mr. Peck. Was that be 
cause he was a co-conspirator ? He also tells you that Miner 
deserted his friend S. W. Dorsey. Was he at that time a 
conspirator ? Mr. Ker tells you that S. W. Dorsey wanted 
to gratify his spite against Vaile and that the first thing he 
did after he got out of the Senate was to write that letter 
to the Second Assistant Postmaster-General against the 
subcontracts. Does that show they were co-conspirators ? 
Did he want to gratify his spite because he had made a 
bargain with them by which they were to realize hundreds 
of thousands of dollars ? 

Mr. Ker also says that Miner's letter to Tuttle shows the 
conspiracy. 

It is perfectly wonderful, gentlemen, how suspicion 
changes and poisons everything. 

Let me read you the letter from which Mr. Ker draws 
the inference that there was a conspiracy. It is on 
page 885 : 



394 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

WASHINGTON, D. C, August 19, 1878. 
FRANK A. TUTTLE, Box 44, Pueblo, Colo., 

DEAR SIR : Yours I4th received. We accept your proposition, 
provided (so that there shall be no conflict) that a friend of ours, who 
has recently gone to Colorado, has not made different arrangements 
before we can get him word. 

The petition for expedition should be separate from the petition for 
increase of number of trips. We make no boast of being solid with 
anybody, but can get what is reasonable. Yours, truly, 

MINER, PECK & CO. 

You are told that is evidence of a conspiracy. Suppose 
the letter had been this way : " We boast of being solid. 
We can get anything, whether reasonable or not." That 
probably would have been evidence of perfect innocence. 
He writes a letter and says : 

We make no boast of being solid with anybody, but can get what 
is reasonable. 

They say that is evidence of conspiracy. Suppose he 
had written the opposite, " We do boast of being solid 
and we can get anything, whether it is reasonable or not." 
According to their logic that would have been evidence of 
absolute innocence. Whenever you are suspicious you 
extract poison from the fairest and sweetest flowers. Prej 
udice and suspicion turn every fact against a defendant. 

On page 4557 Mr. Ker tells us that Vaile never saw Peck, 
and yet had the impudence to write that his subcontract 
was signed by Peck in person. The subcontract is in evi 
dence here. Nobody pretends that it was not signed by 
Peck, and yet that is brought forward as a suspicious cir 
cumstance against Mr. Vaile, because there is no evidence 
that Mr. Vaile ever saw Mr. Peck. Is there anything in a 
point like that ? " My contract was signed by Mr. Peck in 
person." He does not mean by that that he saw him sign 
it. The evidence here is that it was signed by Peck, and 
yet the fact that he says Peck did sign it, and the fact that 
he had never seen Peck, Mr. Ker endeavors to torture so 
that you will think he wrote what he knew to be untrue. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 395 

On page 3251 Mr. Ker says that Miner does not deny 
writing the letter marked 63 E. This letter was dated the 
loth day of May, 1879, and was on one of the Dorsey 
routes. 

Miner swears that he never signed a paper, never touched 
pen to paper on any of the Dorsey routes after the 5th day 
of May, 1879. 

Now, gentlemen, after having made all these statements 
to you, and I have only taken up a few of them, these mis- 
statements, these mistakes, Mr. Ker winds up by telling 
you it is the safer plan to find a verdict of guilty, because 
if you find them guilty wrongfully the Court will upset 
your verdict. 

Gentlemen, you have sworn to try this case according to 
the law and the evidence. You are the supreme arbiters of 
this case. It is for you to decide upon this evidence, and 
for you alone. Yet you are told by Mr. Ker to shirk that 
responsibility. You are told by him to violate your oaths 
and find against these defendants, for the sake of certainty, 
and then turn them over to the mercy of the Court. That 
is not the law. These defendants are being tried before 
you. They have the right to your honest judgment. If 
you have any doubt as to their guilt you must find them not 
guilty or violate your oaths. You are told it is the safer 
way to find them guilty and then let them appeal to the 
Court for mercy ! That doctrine is monstrous. It is de 
formed. Such a verdict would be the spawn of prejudice, 
and cowardice, and perjury. You cannot give such a ver 
dict and retain your self-respect. You cannot give such a 
verdict and retain your manhood ! If you have any doubt 
as to the guilt of these defendants you must say they are not 
guilty. You have no right to turn them over to the Court, 
no matter whether the Court is merciful or unmerciful. 
You must pass upon their guilt, and you must do it honestly. 
I never heard so preposterous, so cruel a sentiment uttered 



396 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

in a court of justice. It amounts to this, gentlemen : If you 
have any doubt of guilt resolve the doubt against the de 
fendant. If the evidence is not quite sufficient, find against 
the defendants and turn them over to the mercy of the 
Court. Why should we have a jury at all ? Why should 
you sit here at all ? Why should you hear this evidence, if 
after all you are to shirk the responsibility and turn the 
defendants over to the Court ? You never will do it, 
gentlemen. 

Now, gentlemen, I wish to call your attention to a few 
points made by Colonel Bliss. You must remember that 
Colonel Bliss has been very highly complimented by his 
associates as a kind of peripatetic index of this case, an 
encyclopedia of all the papers ; that he never makes a mis 
take ; that he recollects amounts with absolute certainty, and 
that he is infallible. Keeping all these things in your mind, 
I wish to call your attention to some statements that he has 
made. First of all, I will refer to a little of his philosophy, 
or law, and that is, that in every affidavit you should state 
not the number necessary on the then schedule, but the 
actual number, and that there could be no doubt about the 
number of men and horses used at the time when an affi 
davit was made, and that consequently anybody making an 
affidavit should put in the number then actually used. 

Let us see how that will work. He says the oaths are 
false because they do not state the actual number of men 
and horses employed in carrying the mail at the time they 
were made. He says that the person making the affidavit 
swore to the number actually employed, and that where 
that number was not employed that fact of itself shows the 
affidavits to be false. I say that is not the law. The law 
calls for the number necessary, not the number actually 
employed. Let me show how easy it would be to cheat the 
Government on the principle laid down by the gentleman. 
I will show you how infinitely silly that is. Let me illus- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 397 

trate. Here is a route one hundred and fifty miles long, 
once a week. You know it is possible for one man and one 
horse for a little while to carry that mail and to go one 
hundred and fifty miles one way and one hundred and fifty 
miles the other, making three hundred miles in a week. 
You can take a magnificent horse and a good, stout, tough 
man, and you can do it. 

The COURT. Or a boy. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Or a stout, tough boy. 

The COURT. A boy would be best. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. You do not need any boy. Just one 
man and one horse will answer. The man can ride the 
horse one hundred and fifty miles in three days, and then 
ride one hundred and fifty miles back in the next three days. 
All you have to swear to, according to Mr. Bliss, is the 
number actually used, and so you would come in and swear 
to two on this route. Now, when you are making an affi 
davit as to the number to be used on a schedule to be made, 
you cannot swear to the number actually in use, because 
they are not then in use. You have to swear to the 
number necessary. You have to swear to the number 
required. 

Now, see. On a mail route one hundred and fifty miles 
long I would only want a good smart horse, and one good 
active man or boy. I would not need to carry it more than 
one week, because I could make the affidavit for that week, 
and then the question would be how many men and horses 
would be required for a daily mail on the same route. I 
would put in a reasonable number, and the difference 
between the number then actually used and the reasonable 
number to use would be the standard by which to fix my 
pay. 

If you take the man and horse actually used, and 
then take the number that would reasonably be used, you 
would make a difference of a thousand per cent. And yet 



398 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that is the doctrine laid down here to guide us as to these 
affidavits. 

Let me tell you what the law is. It does not make any 
difference what you are really using at the time. You 
must swear to the number that would be reasonably neces 
sary to carry the mail on the then schedule. You must 
swear to the number that would be reasonably necessary 
to carry the mail on the proposed schedule. In the 
first place, if you put a great deal of work on a man and 
horse, you must put the same proportion on man and horse 
in the second schedule. If you are easy on man and horse 
in the first schedule, you must be easy on man and horse 
in the second. The only object, gentlemen, is to keep the 
proportion, because you are to be paid according to the 
number of men and horses used. 

Now, they say it would be necessary to go out there in 
order to tell how many men and horses would be necessary, 
and that the men who made these affidavits had never been 
on the routes. There was no need of being on the routes. 
I could give you the number required on any route two 
hundred or five hundred miles long. I could give you the 
number of men and horses reasonably required to carry the 
mail once, twice, three times, or seven times a week ; and I 
could give you the number reasonably required to carry it 
at the rate of three miles an hour or five miles an hour or 
six miles an hour without going there. I need not go 
there for the purpose of the affidavit. I can take it for 
granted that the road is good and level, and I can keep 
exactly the same proportion and nobody can be defrauded. 
If you take the rule of Colonel Bliss it would be the easiest 
thing on earth to defraud the Government. That would be 
by taking the actual number in use and then taking the 
number necessary. 

On page 4761 Mr. Bliss makes the point that according 
to law the Second Assistant Postmaster-General was not 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 399 

bound to allow according to the affidavits. He is right as 
to that. That is what Mr. Bliss says, and that is what John 
W. Dorsey swore he thought, and that is what Mr. Thomas 
J. Brady swore he did. He did not take the affidavit as a 
finality. Mr. Thomas J. Brady said that he took it for 
granted that the man, when he made the affidavit, thought it 
was true, and that the man, when he made the affidavit, 
swore to the best of his knowledge and belief. But Thomas 
J. Brady never swore that he considered himself bound by 
the affidavit. On the contrary, he swore that he had a 
standard in his own mind, and that expedition was to cost 
thirty dollars a mile, or something of that kind. He went 
by that standard, and he gauged the affidavits by it. 

On page 4762 Mr. Bliss says that Brady admitted that he 
made no inquiry as to the truth of affidavits, and that he 
accepted them as absolutely conclusive. On page 3434 Mr. 
Brady swears : 

I accepted their statement as conclusive so far as they knew. 

Brady also swears that he had his standard in his own 
mind, as I said before, and that he had an opinion of his 
own, and that by that standard and opinion he was 
governed. 

On page 4765 Mr. Bliss charges that Brady took the 
oath of Perkins on route 38113 as the basis for the expedi 
tion. Mr. Turner's calculation on file shows that that 
affidavit was not the basis of the calculation. 

Mr. BLISS. Your Honor, allow me to say that subsequently 
I stated to the Court and to the iury distinctly that while 
the indorsement on the jacket recited the Perkins affidavit 
as being the one used, or the affidavit of the subcontractor, 
and while Mr. Brady transmitted to Congress that Perkins 
affidavit as the one upon which he acted, I still believed 
that the calculation showed that he used the other affidavit 

Mr. WILSON. He never made that statement until he 



400 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

made it during the progress of my argument when I was 
discussing that very point. 

Mr. BLISS. You are mistaken. 

Mr. MERRICK. He made it while I was here and I was 
not here during Mr. Wilson's argument. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. If he has taken it back three times, that 
is enough. On page 4766 Mr. Bliss charges Brady with 
having two affidavits on the Pueblo and Greenhorn route, 
from John W. Dorsey, on the same day. 

Mr. BLISS. Mr. Henkle called my attention to the fact 
that it was not the Greenhorn route, but the Pueblo and 
Rosita route, and I corrected it. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Good enough. I did not know about 
his taking it back. I was not here at the time. The fact 
was, however, that only one affidavit was ever filed, and 
that was an affidavit, not by J. W. Dorsey, but by John R. 
Miner. 

Mr. BLISS. There were two on the Pueblo and Rosita 
route by John W. Dorsey. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. We will come to them. You will get 
tired of them before we get through with them. 

On page 4767 Mr. Bliss refers to two affidavits. The 
first affidavit, the one not used, calls for three men and 
seven animals on the then schedule. That makes ten. On 
the proposed schedule of eighty hours it called for nine 
men and twenty-seven animals. That makes thirty-six. 
The proportion then in this affidavit is 3.6, that is, the pay 
would be 3.6 times the original pay. In the second 
affidavit five men and fifteen animals, twenty in all, are 
called for on the then schedule, and on the proposed 
schedule twelve men and forty-two animals. The propor 
tion there is 2.7. So that the affidavits, leaving out the 
fractions, which are substantially the same, stand in this 
way : By the first the contract price would have been multi 
plied by three and the contractor would have had three 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 4OI 

times the original pay, and by the second he would have 
had twice the original pay. Substituting an affidavit at 
only double the pay is called a fraud, because they withdrew 
an affidavit for treble the pay. That is what Mr. Bliss calls 
a fraud. He says still that it is a fraud. 

Now, then, there were two affidavits, and these two affi 
davits, gentlemen, Mr. Bliss well knew were filed on differ 
ent schedules. The first affidavit was filed on a proposed 
schedule of eighty hours. The second affidavit was filed 
on a proposed schedule of fifty hours. The affidavit agree 
ing to carry the mail in fifty hours offered to do it at double 
the pay. The affidavit on eighty hours wanted three times 
the pay, or substantially that. One was 3.7 and the other 
was 2.6. Just think of trying to make that a fraud on the 
Government. Suppose they had filed a third affidavit and 
offered to carry it for nothing. That would have been 
carrying a fraud to the extreme. 

Mr. BLISS. Your Honor, with reference to that, I said, 
expressly referring to these two affidavits : It is not a 
question of proportion. The question is whether the mere 
existence of those double affidavits did not give Brady con 
clusive notice that the man who could make those affidavits 
was not a reliable man, because no matter what the time 
was to which it was to be increased, he stated the number 
necessary on the then schedule, as so and so in one affidavit 
and in the other he stated the number differently. I re 
ferred to it solely in that connection, as the language shows 
on the page referred to. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. For instance, a man writes, "You owe 
me five hundred dollars according to my books," and writes 
the next day, " I have made a mistake. You don't owe me 
anything." Mr. Bliss insists that the second letter would 
show that the man was not to be relied upon. That is his 
idea of honesty. If in the first letter he had written that 
I did not owe him anything, and in the second letter I did, 



4O2 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that might be suspicious. But when in the first he writes 
that I owe him and in the second that I do not, there can 
be no suspicion as to his honesty. In the first affidavit this 
man stated so much, and in the second affidavit he put it 
one-third less. That simply shows the man was pay ing at 
tention to it and wanted to make an honest offer. And 
yet everything in this case is poisoned with prejudice and 
suspicion. 

Another point : Mr. Bliss, on page 4770, says that on 
the Pueblo and Rosita route the number of trips was seven 
and that there was no increase. Upon that statement he 
bases an argument of fraud. The argument is that there 
was no increase of trips. Now, on page 866, the order 
shows that in the first place there was one trip a week and 
there were six trips added. That makes seven. The orig 
inal pay was three hundred and eighty-eight dollars. Six 
trips were added, and the value of the six trips, which 
gave two thousand three hundred and twenty-eight dollars 
of additional pay. Yet Mr. Bliss tells you that there was 
no increase of trips. As a matter of fact, six trips were 
added, and that was all that could be added. 

Mr. BLISS. Were they added coincidently with the affi 
davit for expedition ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. You say they were not added ; I say 
they were. 

Mr. BLISS. No, sir; I said at the time of the expedition 
there was no increase of trips and the affidavit was based 
upon the seven trips. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I say that at that time there was an 
increase. 

Mr. BLISS. Your Honor, the point is this : I think I am 
right in saying that the increase of trips took place after 
the expedition. That is my recollection about it. I have 
not referred to the record. I think Colonel Ingersoll will 
find that is so, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 403 

Mr. INGERSOLL. We will see whether you are right. At 
the time the affidavit was made there were just three trips, 
and afterward there were four trips added. Let us get it 
exactly right. I read from page 866 : 

Date, July 8, 1879. State, Colorado. 
Number of route, 38134. 
Termini of route, Pueblo and Rosita. 
Length of route, fifty miles. 
Number of trips per week, one. 

Mr. BLISS. I see you are right. The trips were increased. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. When anybody gives it up I will stop. 
That is fair and that is honorable. 

Now, the next point. On page 4771 Mr. Bliss says that 
the oath on the Toquerville and Adairville route was made 
for seven trips, although the order only gave them six 
trips, of course the inference being that they got as much 
pay for six trips as they were entitled to for seven trips. 
On page 3290 the original order was for one trip. Two 
trips were added. Look on page 949 and you will find that 
more trips were added. The second order increased four 
trips, and that made seven in all ; and yet Mr. Bliss makes 
the statement that there were only six. That is another 
mistake. 

Another point. On page 4772 Mr. Bliss states that Mr. 
Rerdell spoke in his testimony about J. B. B. I have re 
ferred to that. I have referred before to the claim that 
Rerdell was sustained by the testimony of Mr. Bissell. 
As a matter of fact, I do not remember that Mr. Rerdell 
ever said one word in his testimony as to charging anything 
to J. B. B. 

Ninth point. At page 4778 Mr. Bliss states that Dorsey 
admitted in his letter to Anthony Joseph that the average 
rate for mail service on star routes was only five dollars a 
mile. Mr. Dorsey says in his letter no such thing. He 
says the " average cost of horseback service"; he does not 
use the language employed by Mr, Bliss, "The average 



404 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

rate for mail service on star routes," but he says, " The 
average cost of horseback service." That is a small point, 
but it shows how anxious the gentlemen are to get the thing 
fully as big as it is. 

Tenth point. At page 4783 Mr. Bliss says that Brady cut 
off forty-nine thousand dollars of increase on the Mineral 
Park and Pioche route on the 22d of January, 1879, because 
the mail bills showed so little business. That is another 
mistake. The order cutting off the forty-nine thousand 
dollars was made on the 22d of January, 1880, not 1879. 
I mention this simply for the sake of accuracy. 

Eleventh point. At page 4785 Mr. Bliss says that the 
mail bills on the Silverton and Parrott City route showed 
that Brady ran the service up from seven hundred and 
forty-five dollars to fourteen thousand nine hundred dollars, 
and that the fourteen thousand nine hundred dollars was 
afterwards increased to thirty-one thousand three hundred 
and forty-three dollars and seventy-six cents. The record 
shows nothing of the kind (see pages i894~'5). The orig 
inal pay was one thousand four hundred and eighty-eight 
dollars (page 1854). The pay under the order of June 12, 
1879, was s i x thousand five hundred and twelve dollars and 
twenty-eight cents (page 1855). No other increase was 
ever made. On page 1855 is the increase and expedition, 
being m all fourteen thousand eight hundred and eight 
dollars and sixty three cents. The original pay was one 
thousand four hundred and eighty-eight dollars. A little 
change was made in the route that brought it up to one 
thousand seven hundred and three dollars and sixty-five 
cents. That, together with the expedition, makes a total of 
sixteen thousand five hundred and twelve dollars and 
twenty-eight cents. And yet Mr. Bliss told you that it was 
thirty-one thousand three hundred and forty-three dol 
lars and seventy-six cents. So that this encyclopaedia of 
the papers made a mistake, in one year, of fourteen thousand 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 405 

eight hundred and thirty-one dollars and forty-eight cents. 
For the whole contract time it would be a mistake of forty- 
five thousand dollars. And yet, strange as it may appear, 
that mistake was made against the defendants. Well, let 
us go on. 

Twelfth point. On page 4800, bottom line, Mr. Bliss 
says: 

They got so much in the way of offering petitions that Mr. Rerdell 
being told by Stephen W. Dorsey, upon this route from Pueblo to 
Greenhorn, to go to work and alter the petitions, inserted the words 
" and faster time." 

As to this petition, 7 B, in which are the words " and 
faster time," George Sears swears, at pages 829 and 830, 
that it is in the same condition now as when it was signed 
by him, he thinks. Thereupon Mr. Bliss told you that he 
was mistaken in the paper. You must recollect these things. 

Mr. BLISS. Are there not two petitions there altered ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is on another route. There were 
7 B, ii B, and 12 B. 76 was the written paper, and you 
introduced n B and 12 B. One said " quicker time," and 
one said "on faster schedule," and yet in the very next par 
agraph they asked to have it run in eight hours. Mr. Rer 
dell had to admit that he put in the words without knowing 
what the petition called for, and that Dorsey instructed him 
to put them in. 

Mr. BLISS. Your Honor, in the very same paragraph, the 
very line, where I said "faster schedule," I called attention 
to the fact that the words were unnecessary. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is not the only point. The point 
is, who wrote " faster time"? 

Mr. BLISS. That is not what I said. You have not given 
the whole sentence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. You cannot expect me to read your 
whole seven days' speech. That would be too much. This 
is what you said : 



406 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

They got so much in the way of altering petitions that Mr. Rerdell 
being told by Stephen W. Dorsey, upon this route from Pueblo to 
Greenhorn, to go to work and alter the petitions, inserted the words 
' and faster time." 

That is it exactly. 

Mr. BLISS. Then follows this : 

He inserted "and faster schedule," "on quicker time," though 
there was not any necessity for doing that, because if they had gone 
further down, after some argument in the petition, to the request for 
expedition, they would have seen that there was no necessity for that 
little forgery up there. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is a magnificent admission. " There 
was no necessity for " putting that in. I am glad he admits 
that. He would ask you to believe that S. W. Dorsey, a 
man of intelligence and brains, would ask to have a petition 
forged, altered, interlined, without knowing what was in 
that petition. It will not do, gentlemen. 

Thirteenth point. At page 4810, Mr. Bliss says that 
McBean told Moore, in reference to route No. 44140, Eugene 
City to Bridge Creek, " that he could carry all the mail in 
his pocket." 

Now, as a matter of fact, Mr. McBean does not state any 
conversation with Moore covering this route. That was 
another mistake. No matter. 

Fourteenth point. At page 4814, Mr. Bliss, in speaking of 
the Ojo Caliente route, says the service in fact never was 
performed in fifty hours ; that the evidence of that is con 
clusive. Now, let us see. Here is a jacket on page 3008, 
and that jacket shows that out of seventy-eight half trips, 
expedition was lost on twenty -three and made on fifty-five. 
Yet Mr. Bliss tells you it never was made. The jacket on 
page 3040 shows that expedition was lost on twelve half 
trips and made on sixty-six. And yet Mr. Bliss says it was 
never made. The jacket on page 3056 shows that at the 
time they were carrying seven trips a week, nineteen expe 
ditions were lost out of one hundred and ninety-two half 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 407 

trips. And yet Mr. Bliss says the fifty -hour schedule never 
was made. Another mistake. 

Mr. BLISS. That is long after the time I was referring to. 
As to the other point, I simply repeat it. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It will not help it to repeat it. For every 
expedition lost on this route or any other the Government 
did not pay. When the expedition was lost, the pay was 
deducted ; when the expedition was made the pay was 
given, and not otherwise. You see, gentlemen, how they 
have endeavored to get the facts before you ; what a strug 
gle it has been over all these obstacles lack of memory, 
the immensity of this record how they have climbed the 
Himalayas of difficulty ; how they have gone over the 
Andes and Rocky Mountains of trouble to get at the 
facts ! 

Fifteenth point. On page 4820 Mr. Bliss states that there 
could not have been legally allowed, on the evidence on The 
Dalles route, on expedition over $4,144. As a matter of 
fact, the evidence does not cover the whole route as to the 
number of men and horses used. The Government never 
proved the number of men and horses necessary to carry the 
mail over the whole route, but only a part. Mr. Ker admits 
that the evidence is defective in that regard. When you 
have no standard, gentlemen, you cannot measure. 

Sixteenth point. On page 4820 Mr. Bliss, in speaking of 
the route from Eugene City to Bridge Creek, says that, tak 
ing the undisputed facts as they were, before and after the 
expedition, Brady could not legally have allowed more than 
$2,991.23. The evidence is (page 1343) that Wyckoff was 
the subcontractor from July, 1878, to 1880. Powers first 
carried the mail in 1880. The route was increased and 
expedited in June, 1879. Mr. Powers never carried it from 
the expedition. Mr. Wyckoff was the only man who did 
that, and Mi. Wyckoff was not called. Consequently there 
was no evidence as to the number of men and horses used 



408 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

on either schedule. That left the gentleman without a 
standard and without a measure. 

Seventeenth point. On page 4820 Mr. Bliss says that on 
the Silverton and Parrott City route the oath was made for 
seven trips a week on the present schedule, when it ought 
to have been two trips on the old schedule and seven trips 
for the new schedule. As there is no evidence as to the 
number of men and horses used on the old schedule, of 
course there is no evidence in this record to impeach that 
oath ; you cannot find it. 

Eighteenth point. On page 4822 Mr. Bliss states that 
after the passage of the act of April 7, 1880, there were two 
increases upon the White River route. The fact is there 
was just one after the passage of that law. Of course a 
little mistake like that does not make much difference in a 
case of this magnitude. 

Nineteenth point. On page 4824 Mr. Bliss states that 
Raton was put on the Trinidad route April 24, 1879 (P a S e 
1031). The office was embraced on the routes July i, 
1878. The first order in reference to it was made June 6, 
1878. It was put on the route from July i, 1878, increas 
ing the distance twenty-three miles. Yet Mr. Bliss tells 
you that it was put on the route April 24, 1879. 

Mr. BLISS. Is not that the date of the order ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. It may have been the date of your 
order. 

Mr. BLISS. Is not that the date of the order in the case ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I do not know anything about that. I 
give you the exact facts. 

Twentieth point. On page 4825, Mr. Bliss, in speaking of 
the Ojo Caliente route, charges that by the order increas 
ing the trips on this route in February, 1881, there was 
paid from the Treasury illegally two thousand and eleven 
dollars and forty-six cents. As a matter of fact had we 
been paid for that entire quarter it would have amounted 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 409 

to seven thousand one hundred and thirty-nine dollars and 
forty-one cents. The pay was not adjusted until April 22^ 
1881 (page 731). The amount that was then paid was not 
seven thousand one hundred and thirty-nine dollars and 
forty-one cents, but it was three thousand seven hundred 
and twenty-seven dollars and twenty-two cents. It was 
not for the entire quarter, but simply for the actual service 
rendered. The quarterly pay for the preceding quarter, 
before the expedition, was three thousand three hundred 
and fifty-eight dollars and twenty-six cents ; showing that 
we received only for that quarter an excess, on account of 
expedition, of three hundred and sixty-eight dollars and 
ninety-six cents. But he told you that we got illegally 
two thousand and eleven dollars and forty-six cents. That 
is a small matter. 

Twenty-first point. On page 4897, Mr. Bliss says in effect 
that Dorsey undertook to state that he kept no books ; 
that he was doing a business amounting, I think he says, 
to six million dollars a year, and yet he kept no books. 
On the contrary, Dorsey swore that he did keep books; on 
the contrary, he swore that Kellogg was his book-keeper. 
Kellogg swore that he did keep the books. Torrey swore 
that he was his book-keeper, and kept the books. And 
yet Mr. Bliss stood up before this jury and said to you that 
Mr. Dorsey wanted you to believe, or stated that he kept 
no books of that immense business. It will not do. No 
books but the red books, I suppose, were kept. 

Twenty-second point. At page 4883, Mr. Bliss says that 
in regard to one of Vaile and Miner's routes (Canyon City 
to Fort McDermitt) there were large profits, amounting to 
twenty thousand dollars a year. Then he says eighty 
thousand dollars during the four years. And yet Mr. 
Bliss knew at that time that that expedition lasted only 
eleven months. Trying to fool the jury about sixty-two 
thousand dollars. 



410 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Twenty-third point. On page 4815 Mr. Bliss states that 
the fines on the Bismarck and Tongue River route, during 
Brady's administration, were only thirteen thousand dol 
lars. If you will look at page 727 of this record, where the 
table is put in evidence as to the fines, you will find that 
he deducted from the pay twenty-nine thousand two hun 
dred and twenty-four dollars. Mr. Bliss made a mistake of 
sixteen thousand two hundred and twenty-four dollars. 
But in a case like this that is not important. Gentlemen, 
you know you cannot alwa5 r s be accurate. 

Mr. Bliss is an accurate man, as a rule. He has been 
called the index of this business for the Government. 
u Twenty-fourth point. On page 4987 Mr. Bliss says : 

The one fact of the evidence of the payment of money by Dorsey 
to Brady remains the same whether the books were put out of the 
way by Dorsey or by Rerdell. That is the great central point, so far 
as the books were concerned ; and as to that the testimony is abso 
lutely uncontradicted. 

Mr. Brady swears that Dorsey never gave him a dollar. 
Dorsey swears that he never had a money transaction with 
Brady amounting to one cent. Mr. Rerdell does not pre 
tend to swear that he knows of Mr. Dorsey having paid 
a dollar to Mr. Brady. He does not pretend to swear that 
he knows of any one of these defendants having paid one 
dollar to Mr. Brady. And yet Mr. Bliss will tell you that 
the fact that Dorsey paid Brady money is uncontradicted. 

Mr. BLISS. I did not intend that, Colonel Ingersoll. I 
do not think it is capable of that interpretation. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. What did you mean ? 

Mr. BLISS. As to the statement being in the books it is 
uncontradicted. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Let me see. He now turns and says he 
did not mean the money, he meant the books. The evi 
dence is overwhelming on our side that the books did not 
exist. When you deny the existence of the book I take it 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 4! I 

you deny the existence of any item in it. It is a question 
whether any such books ever existed, gentlemen. Rerdell 
swore in the affidavit of June 20, 1881, and he swore to 
that affidavit three times hand-running, that no such books 
existed. He swore substantially the same thing on the i3th 
of July, 1882. He told Mr. French that no such books ever 
existed. He told Judge Carpenter that no such books 
ever existed. He stated to Bosler that no such books ever 
existed. And now this gentleman says the evidence is 
uncontradicted that Brady was charged in those books. 
That is a good deal worse than the other. Let us go on. 

Twenty-fifth point. At page 4962 Mr Bliss says that Mr. 
Dorsey, according to his own statement 

Had brought Rerdell up and led him to infamy. 

Did Dorsey make any such statement ? Did Mr. Dorsey, 
gentlemen, in your presence, swear that he had brought 
Rerdell up ? Did he, in your presence, swear that he had 
led him to infamy ? Did he, in your presence, swear that 
he had done anything of the kind ? I have got the exact 
words. 

Who, according to his own statement, he, Dorsey, had brought up, 
had led to infamy, and who, according to his own statement, had 
stated that MacVeagh had told a lie. 

A curious use of the English language. I believe it is in 
that connection, though, that he speaks about Mr. Dorsey 
having the impudence to go to the President of the United 
States. That is not a very impudent proceeding. In this 
country a President is not so far above the citizen. In this 
country we have not gotten to the sublimity of snobbery 
that a citizen cannot give his opinion to the President ; 
especially a citizen who did all he could to make him 
President ; especially a citizen in whom he had confidence. 
Not much impudence in that. I do not think that during 
the campaign General Garfield would have regarded it 
impudent on the part of Mr. Dorsey to speak to him. I do 



412 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

not believe in a man, the moment he is elected President, 
feeding upon meat that makes him so great that the man 
who helped put him there cannot approach him, and every 
man who voted for him helped to put him there. I am a 
believer in the doctrine that the President is a servant of 
the people. I have not yet reached that other refinement of 
snobbery. 

Mr. BLISS. In point of fact, Colonel Ingersoll, I made no 
such statement. Now let me read the passage on the very 
page you refer to. 

Patched up the affidavit of Mr. Rerdell, addressed it to the President, 
admittedly went to the President with it, and then had the impudence 
to come here and malign the character of General Garfield by saying 
that upon that affidavit of an accused man, instead of seeking a trial, 
he would have removed two members of his Cabinet. 

I meant nothing about the impudence of going to the 
President. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. He had the impudence then to come 
here and malign Garfield by saying that upon that state 
ment he would have turned out two members of his Cabinet. 
That is Mr. Bliss's idea of impudence ; and yet, upon the 
testimony of the same man, he wants to put five men in the 
penitentiary. 

Mr. BLISS. Not upon the sole testimony, I suppose. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Not upon the soulless testimony. Now, 
I think that Mr. Dorsey had a right to go and see Mr. Gar- 
field. I think he had a right to take that affidavit with 
him. General Garfield was told what this man had said 
concerning Mr. Dorsey. He had the right to take that 
affidavit of that man with him so that General Garfield, or 
the then Attorney-General rather, might know how much 
confidence to put in the statement of that man. He had a 
right to do that. If he found in this way that his Attorney- 
General and his Postmaster-General were seeking to have a 
man convicted by means not entirely honorable, then it was 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 413 

not only his privilege, but it was his duty to discharge them 
from his Cabinet. But I am not saying anything in regard 
to them now, because they are not here to defend them 
selves. 

Mr. BLISS. I want to correct myself. Further down on 
that page I see I did refer to the impudence of this man 
going to Garfield. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Well, as Mr. Bliss has been fair enough 
to state it, I will not follow up my advantage. On another 
page Mr. Bliss says that the idea that Mr. Vaile did what he 
did for Miner out of any sympathy is "too thin." Mr. 
Bliss cannot believe that Vaile became Miner's friend so 
suddenly, but he thinks it highly probable that they con 
spired instantly. That is his view of human nature. 
Friendship is of slow growth; conspiracy is a hot-house 
plant. Gentlemen, is that your view of human nature, that 
a man cannot become the friend of another suddenly? 
Whenever he does become his friend the friendship has to 
be formed suddenly, does it not ? There is a first time to 
everything. A moment before it did not exist ; a moment 
afterwards it is dead very suddenly. 

There was a boy came to town one morning and met an 
old friend. The old friend asked the boy, " How is your 
father ? " He says, " Pretty well, for him." " How is your 
mother?" "Pretty well, for her." "Well, how is your 
grandmother ? " " She is dead." " Well," says the old man, 
"she must have died suddenly." "Well," said the boy, 
" pretty sudden, for her." 

Whenever one man becomes the friend of another, F 
moment before that he was not, and a moment after he k. 
It must be sudden. But I imagine that there was a friend 
ship sprang up between Vaile and Miner, and I will tell 
you why. They have been partners ever since. You, 
gentlemen, have had the same experience a thousand times. 
It is not necessary to conspire with a man in order to like 



414 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

him. Neither is it necessary to like him to conspire with 
him. Men have conspired without friendship a thousand 
times more, probably, than they have formed friendships 
without conspiracy. 

Mr. Bliss says that because Miner failed to produce the 
power of attorney that Moore swore was given to him when 
he went West, the jury have a right to infer that instruc 
tions to get up false petitions were in writing and were in 
cluded in that power of attorney. Mr. Moore did not swear 
to the contents of that power of attorney. Do you think 
that it is within the realm of probability that a man ever 
gave a power of attorney to another and inserted in it: 
" You are hereby authorized to get up false petitions ; you 
are further authorized to have them so written that you can 
tear them off and paste others on ? 

" N. B. You will make such contracts with all contractors. 

" P. S. Don't tell anybody." 

There was another witness in this case, Mr. Grimes (page 
808). Not the one that wore the coat 

All buttoned down before 

but Mr. Grimes, postmaster at Kearney. He came all the 
way here to swear that he stopped using mail bills on the 
route from Kearney to Kent because he was so ordered by a 
letter from the Post-Office Department. Then it was dis 
covered that he did not have the letter with him ; he went 
home to get the letter, but he never came back any more. 

We introduced Spangler (page 341) from the inspection 
division of the Post-Office Department ; I think he was in 
charge of that division. He swore, as a matter of fact, that 
there never were any mail bills on that route at all. 

Mr. CARPENTER. He was in charge of the mail bills on 
that route. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. The mail bills on that particular route. 
That man Grimes was brought clear here to prove that he 
stopped using mail bills, and then we proved that there 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 415 

never were any mail bills used on that route for him to 
stop using. I do not suppose that that man was dishonest. 
These people just got around him and talked to him until 
he "remembered it." They just planted the seed in his 
mind, and then came the dew and the rain and the lightning 
until it began to sprout and in time blossomed and bore 
fruit mail bills. When we come to find out that there 
never were any mail bills used, away went Mr. Grimes. 
On page 4969 Mr. Bliss says : 

They have not, up to this moment, dared to state under oath, I 
think, that those books are not in their possession. 

On page 3784 Dorsey swears that he never received any 
such books. Never saw any such books. He swore again 
and again that he never heard of any such books. 

Mr. BLISS. I stated distinctly that the defendants had 
not stated that in the form required to excuse them from the 
production. I stated that distinctly. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. All right ; away goes that. 

On page 4983 Mr. Bliss says : 

Is it not an absurdity to suppose that Dorsey would leave Rerdell in 
charge of his business from July, 1879, to August, 1880, and then on 
from that time until the close of the contract term in August, 1882 ; 
leave all the business in that way, and then through Bosler settle the 
accounts with Mr. Rerdell and have no knowledge in any way, not 
only of the entries contained in the books which Rerdell kept, but 
have no knowledge that he kept any books whatever? Is it not ab 
surd to suppose any such thing ? These ten routes represented an 
income of two hundred and fifty-odd thousand dollars a year, or a 
total business, including income and outgo, of five hundred thousand 
dollars a year, for three years, going no further than that. These ten 
routes alone represented transactions amounting to half a million 
dollars a year. There were one hundred and thirty routes and Mr. 
Dorsey took one-third in value if not in number. If the value was 
the same, Mr. Dorsey took not less than forty routes. As ten routes 
involved a business of one million five hundred thousand dollars in 
that period, the forty routes involved in that proportion transactions 
amounting to six million dollars. 

You made a calculation on the supposition that all the 
routes were expedited the same as those in the indictment, 



41 6 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

and when you made that calculation you knew they were 
not expedited. 

Mr. BLISS. I object, your Honor, to his making any such 
statement as that. In the first place, it is not evidence ; and 
in the second place, which is of more importance, it is not 
true. I did not know any such thing, and I do not know 
any such thing. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Do you say now that the other routes of 
his, to the number you talked of, were expedited ? 

Mr. BLISS. I am not on the stand to be cross-examined 
now. But I do say to your Honor that there is no evidence 
of that in this case. And then I go beyond that, and say 
that I did not know those things then and I do not know 
them now. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Very well ; he made the argument on the 
supposition that all the routes were expedited. I say that 
not one of them was expedited in which Mr. Dorsey had an 
interest. 

Mr. BLISS. There is no evidence on that subject. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Is there any evidence of what you say ? 

Mr. BLISS. I put a supposititious case ; you have stated 
a fact. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I will put another supposititious case, 
and mine is that the other routes were not expedited. 

The COURT. That is the right way to meet it. Counsel 
ought not to turn to counsel on the other side and make an 
appeal to his knowledge in regard to matters not in evi 
dence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I know, but he said he did not know 
it. Then I asked him, as a matter of fact, if he did not 
know 

The COURT. [Interposing.] He stated his supposition, and 
you met that supposition 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Interposing.] I am always glad to get 
information. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 417 

Now, then, I will go to another point, and that is the 
$7,500 check. Mr. Bliss speaks of that check at page 4997, 
and he says : 

There is a question raised as to whether it was drawn in Mr. Rer- 
dell's presence. 

I do not think there was. How could such a question be 
raised, gentlemen ? The check was made payable to M. C. 
Rerdell, or his order. On the back of the check is Mr. Rer- 
dell's name, put there by himself. He is the only indorser. 
And yet Mr. Bliss tells you that there is a question raised 
as to whether the money was drawn in Mr. Rerdell's presence 
or not. The check shows, and the evidence is absolutely 
perfect, that the money was paid to Rerdell in person. The 
question is this : Whether it was drawn in Mr. Rerdell's 
presence. If it was paid to him in person, I imagine that 
he was in that neighborhood at that time. The check was 
written by him, everything except the signature of Dorsey. 
It was drawn to Mr. Rerdell, or order, and indorsed by Rer 
dell himself. There was no other indorser. So that it is 
absolutely certain that he drew the money in question. And 
yet Mr. Bliss says the question is whether it was drawn in 
Rerdell's presence or not. 

Mr. Bliss continues and states that the money went to S. 
W. Dorsey. Did it ? Mr. Dorsey, on page 3965, states the 
circumstances. He was packing to go away. He had not 
the time to go to the bank himself. He had the check writ 
ten payable to Mr. Rerdell, or order, and he signed it. Rer 
dell went to the bank, got the money, brought it back and 
put it in his carpet-sack. That is the testimony. 

Now, Mr. Bliss says : 

No evidence was given as to what Stephen W. Dorsey was wanting 
just at that time with seven thousand five hundred dollars in bills. 

According to Mr. Rerdell, he wanted that money to give 
to Mr. Brady. That is what Mr. Rerdell intended to swear. 
But when he found that that check was made payable to 



418 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

him, and indorsed by him, then they had to take another 
tack. They dare not say then, " That is the check." They 
dare not say then, "That is the money." Rerdell had for 
gotten at the time he swore that that check was payable to 
his order. When he told his seven thousand dollar story 
to MacVeagh he forgot about that check. When he told it 
to ,the Postmaster-General, if he did I have forgotten 
whether he did or not he forgot about that. 

Now, gentlemen, I will call your attention to the part 
to which I really wish to direct your attention. It is an 
admission by the Government, an admission by Colonel 
Bliss ; it is in these words, on page 4997, speaking of this 
very thing : 

However that may be, they themselves put in a check here for 
seven thousand five hundred dollars, drawn about the time Mr. Rer 
dell spoke of, the money upon which admittedly went to Stephen W. 
Dorsey, though there is a question raised as to whether it was drawn 
in Mr. Rerdell's presence or whether it was not drawn by him. But 
the money went to Stephen W. Dorsey, and there was a promise 
made to show you what was done with that seven thousand five hun 
dred dollars. But, like many another promise in this case, it remains 
unfulfilled to-day. No evidence was given as to what Stephen W. 
Dorsey was wanting just at that time with seven thousand five hun 
dred dollars in bills. 

Mr. Dorsey offered to tell you what he did with it, and 
you said you did not want it ; you did not want to know 
when he was on the stand. He offered to tell you what he 
did with the money, and you would not take his statement. 
Hear what he says : 

Mr. Dorsey was not taking seven thousand five hundred dollars in 
bills to the West. 

How do you know ? Who ever told Mr. Bliss that he 
was not taking seven thousand five hundred dollars to the 
West ? He must have got that from Mr. Rerdell. May be 
that is the reason they would not allow Dorsey to tell, be 
cause before that time they had been informed that he 
would swear that he took the seven thousand five hundred 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 419 

dollars to the West. How else did Mr. Bliss find this 
out? 

It is not in the evidence, not a line. Somebody must 
have told him. Who could have told him ? Nobody, I 
think, except Mr. Rerdell. Is it possible, then, that Mr. 
Bliss was afraid that Mr. Dorsey would swear that he took 
it West ? And was he afraid also that you would believe 
it ? I do not know. He did not want him to state. Now 
here is what I want to call your attention to : 

After all the talk about that evidence, all the talk about 
the seven thousand dollars, all the talk about the seven 
thousand five hundred dollar check, Mr. Bliss at least, ad 
mits to this jury : 

Of course all that transaction might have occurred precisely as Mr. 
Rerdell testified, and there might have involved no corruption on 
Mr. Brady's part. 

If, then, it may have occurred exactly as Rerdell swore, 
and involved no corruption, certainly it might have oc 
curred as Mr. S. W. Dorsey swore and involved no cor 
ruption. I will go on now with a little more from Mr. 
Bliss : 

The drawing of the money and going to Mr. Brady's room might 
have been a mere accident, as a call there to attend to some other 
business. 

Of course, that is reasonable. I might go the bank and 
draw five thousand dollars, and then I might stop in the 
Treasury Department, but that is no evidence that I am 
bribing the Secretary of the Treasury. I might step over 
to see the President ; that would be no reason to believe 
that I bribed the Executive. 

Of course that is not conclusive. It is only a little straw in this 
case, as showing a transaction of that kind involved in connection 
with all the evidence you have in this case 

" A little straw " 

evidence of Mr. Brady's acts, and particularly as at the time when 
that occurs evidence in connection with the large increases which Mr. 



420 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Brady was then ordering ; evidence in connection with the books, 
and the evidence they bear ; evidence in connection with the declara 
tions of Brady to Walsh evidence all consistent 

And then he adds this piece of gratuitous information : 

Mr. Dorsey was not taking seven thousand five hundred dollars in 
bills to the West. 

How does he know ? How did he find that out ? And 
has it come to this ? Has all the testimony upon that 
point has the confession of Rerdell to MacVeagh and 
James shrunk to this little measure that it is " only a 
straw " ? Has it shrunk to this measure that Mr. Bliss admits 
that the whole thing might have been exactly as Rerdell 
swears, and yet have been perfectly innocent ? Has it shrunk 
to this little measure ? The Government would not tell us 
I presume the Government will not tell us, what check it 
was, the proceeds of which were taken by Mr. Dorsey to 
Mr. Brady. Neither will they say whether that sum was 
made up in one check or by adding together a number of 
checks ; and, if so, what number ? 

At page 295 Mr. Bliss told you, in his opening speech, 
that Rerdell had on one occasion gone with Mr. Stephen W. 
Dorsey to the bank, and that seven thousand dollars had 
been drawn ; that he had gone with Dorsey to the door of 
the Post-Office Department, or to Brady's room, at the time 
he would not undertake to say which Mr. Dorsey stat 
ing to him that he intended to pay that money to Mr. 
Brady, and that he (Mr. Dorsey) then went in. But when 
they come to put this man on the stand he will not swear 
that Dorsey ever told him that he intended to pay the money 
to Brady. Probably that part of the statement, that Dor 
sey told him that he was going to pay that money to Brady, 
can be found in the affidavit made before Mr. Woodward, 
in September, and repeated in the affidavit made at Hart 
ford in November. But it is not in evidence here. 

Now, we brought all the checks that we had given on 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 42! 

Middletou's bank, with the exception of two, I believe, that 
amounted to some hundred and odd dollars. We gave the 
Government counsel notice that there were two others. 

Among those checks was this one for seven thousand 
five hundred dollars. There were many others. I asked 
the gentlemen to pick out their check ; they would not do 
it. I asked the gentlemen to pick out the checks ; they 
did not do it. And now if we had failed to produce checks 
that were important in this case, the Government could 
have produced the books and clerks of Middleton & Com 
pany, and shown exactly the checks we drew upon that 
bank that month. They did not do it. As a matter of 
fact, I offered all the checks on all the banks I could think 
of that we had any business with in any way, except one, 
and that turned out to be the German-American Savings 
Bank, and it turned out that that went into bankruptcy 
eight months before this business ; so there is no trouble 
about that. Why did they not pick out the checks upon 
which they claimed that the money was drawn that was 
paid to Brady ? 

Mr. Rerdell, on page 2254, in speaking of the money, 
swore that money was charged to Brady on the stub. He 
says that Dorsey told him, "You will find the amount on 
the stub of the check-book." The jury will notice that he 
speaks of the " amount," the " stub," and the " book," all 
in the singular. That was followed, I believe, by about 
six pages of discussion, and everybody who took part in 
that discussion, the Court included, spoke of the sum of 
money as an " amount," upon a " stub," in a " check 
book." 

I call attention to 2254-'55-'56-'57-'58-'59. On all those 
pages it is spoken of as a stub of a check-book, or amount 
on a stub in a check-book. After the discussion was 
closed, then the witness began to talk about " books," 
" checks," "stubs," and "amounts." Why did he do that ? 



422 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

His object was to get the evidence broad enough checks 
and check-books enough to fit their notice, to the end that 
they might get possession of all the check-books, and of all 
the amounts on all the stubs. 

What more ? The discussion convinced Mr. Rerdell that 
it would be far safer to say "stubs" than "stub"; that it 
would be far better to say "check-books" than "check 
book," and far better to say "amounts" than "amount"; 
because he would have a better chance in adding these up 
so as to make six thousand five hundred dollars, or seven 
thousand dollars, or six thousand dollars, than to be 
brought down to one check, one amount, and one stub- 
book. So he went off into the region of safety, into the 
domain of the plural. 

Now, the last point at least for this evening so far as 
Mr. Bliss is concerned, I believe, is about the red books. 
Mr. Bliss tells you that Mrs. Cushman was telegraphed to 
from the far West. There was a little anxiety, I believe, 
on the part of Rerdell about the book, and he telegraphed 
her. She found it there in the wood-shed, you know, 
hanging up, I think, in the old family carpet-sack I have 
forgotten where she found it and she put it away. Now, 
there is a question I want to ask here, and I know that Mr. 
Merrick when he closes will answer it to his entire satis 
faction; I do not know whether he will to yours or to mine : 
How does it happen that Mrs. Rerdell never saw that red 
book ? How does it happen that Mrs. Rerdell, when she 
was put on the stand, never mentioned that red book? 
How does it happen that she never heard of it when her 
husband went to New York to get it ; when everything he 
had in the world, according to his idea, was depending 
upon it ; when it was his sheet-anchor ; when it was the 
corner-stone of his safety ? And yet his wife never heard 
of it, never saw it, did not know it was in the wood- shed, 
slept in that house night after night and did not even 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 423 

dream that her husband's safety depended on any book in 
a carpet-sack hanging in the wood-shed. She never said 
a word about it on the stand, not a word. Gentlemen, no 
body can answer that question except by admitting that 
the book was not there and did not exist. 

But perhaps I have said enough about the speeches of 
Mr. Ker and Mr. Bliss. Of course, their business is to do 
what they can to convict. I do not know that I ought to 
take up much more time with them. I feel a good deal as 
that man did in Pennsylvania who was offered one-quarter 
of a field of wheat if he would harvest it. He went out 
and looked at it. " Well," he says, " I don't believe I will 
do it." The owner says, "Why?" "Well," he says, 
" there is a good deal of straw, and I don't think there is 
wheat enough to make a quarter." 

So now, gentlemen, if the Court will permit, I would like 
to adjourn till to-morrow morning. 

Now, gentlemen, the next witness to whose testimony I 
will invite your attention is Mr. Boone. Mr. Boone was 
relied upon by the Government to show that this conspiracy 
was born in the brain of Mr. Dorsey ; that these other men 
were simply tools and instrumentalities directed by him; 
that he was the man who devised this scheme to defraud 
the Government, and that it was Dorsey who suggested the 
fraudulent subcontracts. They brought Mr. Boone upon 
the stand for that purpose, and I do not think it is improper 
for me to say that Mr. Boone was swearing under great 
pressure. It is disclosed by his own testimony that he had 
eleven hundred routes, and that he had been declared a 
failing contractor by the department ; and it also appeared 
in evidence that he had been indicted some seven or eight 
times. Gentlemen, that man was swearing under great 
pressure. I told you once before that the hand of the 
Government had him clutched by the throat, and the 



424 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Government relied upon his testimony to show how this 
conspiracy originated. Now I propose to call your attention 
to the evidence of Mr. Boone upon this subject. 

On page 1352 Mr. Boone swears substantially that on his 
first meeting with Stephen W. Dorsey that is, after they 
met at the house he said to Dorsey that he (Boone) would 
be satisfied with a one-third interest. Now, the testimony 
of Boone is that Mr. Dorsey then and there agreed that he 
might have the one-third interest. 

Mr. Dorsey says it is not that way ; that he told him that 
when the others came they would probably give him that 
interest, or something to that effect. 

Mr. Boone further swears that when J. W. Dorsey did 
come there was a contract or articles of agreement you 
may call them handed to him by J. R. Miner, purporting 
to be articles of partnership between John W. Dorsey and 
himself, and that he signed these articles ; that that, I believe, 
was on the i5th of January, 1878, and that it was by virtue 
of that agreement that he had one-third. It was not by 
virtue of any talk he had with S. W. Dorsey that he got an 
interest, and you will see how perfectly that harmonizes 
with the statement of Stephen W. Dorsey. 

Mr. Dorsey 's statement is : "I cannot make the bargain 
with you, but when John W. Dorsey comes I think he will, 
or they will." It turned out that when John W. Dorsey 
did come in January he did enter into articles of partnership 
with A. E. Boone, and did give him the one-third interest. 
So the fact stands out that he got the one-third interest 
from John W. Dorsey and not from Stephen W. Dorsey. If 
the paper had been written and signed by Stephen W. 
Dorsey that would uphold the testimony of Boone. If 
Boone had said, " I made the bargain with Stephen W. 
Dorsey," and the articles of co-partnership were signed by 
him, I submit that that would have been a perfect corrobo- 
ration of Boone. Stephen W. Dorsey swears that the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 425 

bargain was made with John W. Dorsey, and you find that 
the agreement was signed by John W. Dorsey, and not by 
Stephen W. Dorsey. I submit, therefore, that that is a 
perfect corroboration of the testimony of Stephen W. 
Dorsey. 

At page 1544 Mr. Boone says that, as a matter of fact, all 
contractors endeavored to keep what they were doing secret 
from all other contractors. Think of the talk we have 
heard about secrecy. If the bidders upon any of these 
routes did not want the whole world to know the amount 
they had bid, that secrecy was tortured into evidence of a 
criminal conspiracy. If John W. Dorsey did not want the 
world to know what he was doing, if Mr. Boone wanted to 
keep a secret, these gentlemen say it is because they were 
engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the Government, and 
crime loves the darkness. What does Mr. Boone say ? As 
a matter of fact, that all contractors endeavored to keep 
what they were doing secret from all other contractors 
where they feared rivalry. Of course that is human nature. 

Mr. Boone further says that he never knew of one con 
tractor admitting even that he was going to bid. He always 
pretended, don't you see, that he was not going to bid. He 
wanted to throw the other contractors off their guard. He 
did not want them to imagine that he was figuring upon 
that same route, because if they thought he was, they might 
put in a much lower bid. He wanted them to feel secure, 
so that they would put in a good high bid, and then if he 
put in a tolerably low bid he would get the route. That is 
simply human nature. 

Boone further says that always when a letting came on he 
had his bids in; that contractors keep their bids secret 
from rival contractors, not for the purpose of defrauding 
the Government, but for the purpose of taking care of theii 
business. Now, gentlemen, when men make these pro 
posals and keep their business secret as it turns out that 



426 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

in these cases they were keeping their business secret the 
fact that they are so doing is not evidence going to show 
that they are keeping that business secret because they 
have conspired. Have you not the right to draw the infer 
ence, and is it not the law that you must draw the inference, 
that they kept their business secret for the same reason that 
all honest men keep their business secret ? 

At page 1545, Mr. Boone, swearing again about his talk 
with Mr. Dorsey that night after the arrangement was con 
cluded, says that he Dorsey 

told me to be careful of Elkins, because Elkins was representing 
Roots & Kerens, large contractors, * * * the largest in the de 
partment, at that time, in the Southwest. 

And yet that evidence has been alluded to as having in it 
the touch and taint of crime, because S. W. Dorsey said to 
Boone to say nothing to Elkins. Who was Elkins ? He, 
at that time, as appears from the evidence, was the attorney 
of Roots & Kerens ; and who were they ? Among the 
largest, if not the largest contractors in the department; 
that is, the largest in the Southwest. 

Mr. Boone stated that the letter of Peck to S. W. Dorsey 
requested him to get some man who knew the business to 
look after the bids or proposals. Now, I want to ask you, 
gentlemen, and I want you to answer it like sensible men, 
if Stephen W. Dorsey got up a conspiracy himself, why 
was it that Peck wrote to him asking him to get some com 
petent man to collect the information about the bids that is, 
about the country, about the routes, about the cost of living, 
about wages, the condition of the roads, and the topography 
of the country ? 

If it was hatched in the brain of Stephen W. Dorsey, 
how is it possible, gentlemen, that a letter was written 
to him by Peck asking him to get a competent man to 
gather that information ? Mr. Boone swears that he had 
such a letter. Mr. Boone swears that Dorsey showed the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 427 

letter to him. Mr. Boone swears that, in consequence of 
that letter, he went to work to gather this information. 
Did Mr. Dorsey do anything about gathering information ? 
Nothing. Did he give any advice ? None. Did he ask 
any questions ? Not one. Did he interfere with Mr. Boone 
in the business ? Never. 

You know that was a very suspicious circumstance. I 
believe there was a direction given that letters be sent to 
James H. Kepuer. That was another suspicious circum 
stance. Mr. Booiie swears that he was also in the mail 
business ; that he did not want the letters to go some place ; 
that he had to give at the department an address; that 
thereupon he chose the name of James H. Kepner, his 
step-son, so that all the mail in regard to this particular 
business would go in one box, and not be mingled with the 
mail in reference to his individual business or the business 
represented by the firm to which he belonged. What more 
does he swear ? That neither Dorsey nor any one of these 
defendants ever suggested that name, or ever suggested 
that any such change be made ; that it was made only as a 
matter of convenience ; that it was not intended to and 
could not in any way defraud the Government. 

Now, Mr. Boone has cleared up a little of this. He has 
cleared up the letter ; he has cleared up the charge of 
secrecy ; he has cleared up the charge that we had the 
letters addressed to James H. Kepner & Co. ; he has shown 
that everything done so far was perfectly natural, per 
fectly innocent, and in accordance with the habits of men 
engaged in that business. 

Now I come to the next thing (page 1550). The next 
great circumstance in this case, the great suspicious cir 
cumstance, was that the amount of the bid was left blank 
in the proposals. The moment they saw those blanks in 
the bids they knew then that the Government was to be de 
frauded, and they brought Mr. Boone here for the purpose 



428 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

of showing that that was done to lay the foundation for a 
fraud. What does Boone swear ? He swears that he al 
ways left that part of the proposal blank ; always had done 
so ; had been engaged in the mail business for years, and 
never filled that blank up in his life, in which the amount 
of the bid should be inserted. It was not left blank to de 
fraud the Government, but to prevent the postmasters and 
sureties, or any other persons, finding out the amount of 
the bid. Away goes that suspicious circumstance. 

After the bids had been properly executed and came 
back into the hands of the contractors, from the time the 
figures were put into those routes, what does he say they 
did? 

We slept with them until we could get them to the department. 

He says they never allowed anybody to see them after 
the amount of the bid had been inserted ; that they would 
not allow anybody to see the amount of the bids ; that it 
was left out, however, only for self-protection, and for no 
other reason. That is the Government's own witness. He 
is the man they brought to show that this blank in the bid 
was a suspicious circumstance. He is the man they brought 
here to show that because Stephen W. Dorsey had told him 
to say nothing to Elkins, that injunction of secrecy was 
evidence of a conspiracy. 

At page 1552, Mr. Boone, in speaking of these same 
things, says that however they were made, whether the 
name of the bidder or the route was put in, or whatever he 
did that is, Boone he did not do it for the purpose of de 
frauding the Government. They say to him, " Don't you 
know that you left out not only the amount of the bid, but 
the name of the bidder ? " He says, " Whatever I did, 
whether I left out the amount of the bid or the name of the 
bidder, I did not do it for the purpose of defrauding the 
Government ; I had no such idea, no idea of defrauding the 
Government by leaving any blank or any blanks." He did 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 429 

the work. Stephen W. Dorsey left no blank ; A. E. Boone 
left every blank ; and yet they brought him forward to 
prove that that was the result of a conspiracy ; and after 
he comes upon the stand he swears, " I left those blanks 
myself; I always left them in proposals exactly in that 
way ; and whether I left out the amount of the bid or the 
name of the bidder, I did not do it to defraud the Govern 
ment ; I did it simply to protect myself, as I had the right 
to do." So much for that. That is gone. 

So, speaking of these other proposals (the Clendenning 
proposals) what does Mr. Boone say the witness for the 
Government, the very man who got up those proposals, the 
man who wrote them, the man who wrapped them up, and 
sealed them? What does he say ? " Those proposals were 
not gotten up for the purpose of defrauding the Govern 
ment ; I did not send them to Clendenning for that pur 
pose." That is the end of that. No conspiracy there. 

The object, don't you see, gentlemen, was to show by 
Boone that he acted under the direction of Dorsey ; that 
Dorsey was responsible for everything that Boone did ; and 
that although Boone was guilty of no crime in leaving the 
bid blank, still if he did it by authority of Dorsey, Dorsey 
had an ulterior motive of which Boone was ignorant. Let 
us see. 

At page 1554, Mr. Boone swears that Dorsey never told 
him at any time or any place that he wanted any blanks 
left. And yet they were endeavoring by that witness to 
saddle that upon S. W. Dorsey. But that witness swears 
that Dorsey never even told him that he wanted any blanks 
left in any paper, proposal, bid, or bond. He says that Dor 
sey never at any time or place told him (Boone) that he 
(Dorsey) wanted any blanks left, or any proposals of any 
particular form printed, to the end that a fraud might be 
perpetrated upon the Government not a word. 

And, gentlemen, I am now in that space of time where 



43 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

they say this conspiracy was born. At page 1567, before 
Miner got here, Mr. Boone swears that Dorsey told him that 
he would advance money for the other defendants, and Mr. 
Boone swears that after he got here he never asked Dorsey 
for a dollar except through Miner ; that Dorsey never gave 
a dollar except through Miner. 

What more ? This is the witness that is going to establish 
the guilt of Stephen W. Dorsey. Stephen W. Dorsey 
never told Boone at any time that he had any interest what 
ever in those mail routes. Boone never heard of it. Dor 
sey never told him to print a proposal with a blank ; never 
told him to leave a blank after it was printed ; never told 
him to do anything for the purpose of defrauding the Gov 
ernment in any way at any time. This is extremely good 
reading, gentlemen, when you take into consideration that 
this is the witness of the Government, their main prop un 
til the paragon of virtue made his appearance upon the 
stand. 

Page 1558. Another great point : That in preparing the 
subcontracts, Dorsey having it in his mind to conspire 
against the Government, or really having conspired, ac 
cording to their story, wanted a provision in a subcontract 
for increase and expedition. 

Why, it strikes me, gentlemen, that that is evidence of 
honesty rather than dishonesty. If these subcontracts were 
to hold good during the contract term, and if in the con 
tract given to the contractor by the Government there was 
a clause for increase and expedition, why should not the 
subcontract provide for the same contingencies that the 
contract provided for with the Government ? That looks 
honest, doesn't it ? 

It was advertising the subcontractor that the moment he 
signed his subcontract the trips were liable to be increased 
and the time was liable to be shortened, and that if the 
time was shortened or the trips increased the pay %vas to 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 431 

be correspondingly increased. But I will go on with the 
testimony. 

Page 1558: In preparing the subcontract Mr. Dorsey in 
structed Boone to provide for an expedition clause. That 
was a suspicious circumstance. What for ? To conform to 
the expedition clause in the contract with the Government. 
If making it like the Government contract is evidence of 
conspiracy, the fact that the Government contracts have 
that clause is evidence that the Government conspired with 
somebody. It is just as good one way as the other. The 
Government made a contract with the contractor, the con 
tractor made one with the subcontractor, and the contractor 
so far forgot his duties, so far forgot his moral obligations, 
that he made it just the same as his contract with the Gov 
ernment. Gentlemen, is there any depth of depravity 
below that ? Absolutely copying the contract that the Gov 
ernment was going to make with him, and treating the sub 
contractor, so far as the contract was concerned, as the 
Government had treated him, he (Boone) prepared a clause 
which he thought filled the bill, and which he still thinks, I 
believe, would have been better to use than the other. 
When he showed that to Stephen W. Dorsey, Dorsey sug 
gested another form. It was the same thing exactly, but 
in different words. There was the testimony I have read 
to you, and now here is what Mr. Bliss states about it at 
page 4865 : 

But Stephen W. Dorsey, away back there, knew sufficient about 
expedition to appreciate the importance of keeping for the contractors 
thirty-five per cent, and giving to the men who were performing the 
service only sixty-five per cent. 

Why not ? Is that a crime ? Suppose I agreed to carry 
the mail four years for $10,000 a year and I subcontract 
with another man. Have I not the right to get it carried as 
cheaply as I can? I just ask you that as a business propo 
sition. Or has every man to treat this Government as 



432 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

though it was in its dotage ? Must you do business with 
the Government as though you were contracting with an 
infant or an idiot ? Must you look at both sides of the con 
tract? That is the question. The Government, for in 
stance, advertises for so much granite, and I put in a bid 
which is accepted ; at the same time I know that I could fur 
nish that granite for twenty-five per cent. less. Is it my duty 
under such circumstances to go and notify the Govern 
ment that I have cheated it, and that I would like to have it 
put the contract down ? There may be heights of morality 
that would see the propriety of such action, but it is not for 
every-day wear and tear. Very few people have it ; it 
scarcely ever comes into play in trading horses. Must we 
treat the Government as though it were imbecile ? I say it 
was a simple business transaction. The Government ad 
vertises for proposals to carry the mail ; I make my bid for 
$10,000, and we will say that my bid is accepted. Now, I 
admit that I could carry it for $5,000 and make money. 

Am I criminal if I go on and perform the contract as I 
agreed and draw the money ? Or suppose the people along 
the route do not want it expedited and increased, and so I 
talk to them about it ; I go to Mr. Brown and say, " Mr. 
Brown, you are living in this smart, thriving town, and you 
need a daily mail." I go to the next village and I say, 
" Why, gentlemen, you will never have a town here until 
you have a daily mail ; I am the fellow now carrying the 
mail." And I keep talking about it, you know, and finally 
get a fellow to get up a petition, or I write one myself, and 
send it around, and say to them, " Gentlemen, what you 
want is more mail, faster mail ; the mail is the pioneer of 
civilization, gentlemen ; have a daily mail, and along the 
line at once towns and villages and cities will spring up, and 
all the hillsides will be covered with farms, and school- 
houses will be here, and wealth will be universal." Any 
crime about that. Every railroad has been built just that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 433 

way. Every park has been laid out in every city by just 
such means. Nearly every street that has been improved 
has been improved in that way, by men who had some in 
terest in the property, by men who were to be benefited by 
it themselves, and who ought to be benefited. Should the 
men that get the public attention in that direction be bene 
fited, or the men who do nothing ? I say that the men who 
give attention to the business have a right to be benefited by 
it. And yet here is the crime, gentlemen. And then we 
only gave these fellows sixty-five per cent, and took thirty- 
five ourselves, because we were bound to the Government 
to fulfill the contract, as was explained to you so admirably, 
so perfectly, by Judge Wilson. The contract was to run for 
four years, and I believe in a certain contingency for six 
months thereafter. We had to carry out the contract, 
whether the subcontractor carried out his contract with us 
or not. 

Now, this is what Mr. Bliss says : 

So, after a large m^kss of subcontracts had been struck from the 
press, which gave to the subcontractors all the increase 

There never was a subcontract that gave to the subcon 
tractors all the increase ; there is no evidence that there ever 
was such a subcontract, 
he 

That is, Stephen W. Dorsey 
directed them to be put back on the press. 

I should think he would. If he found any subcontracts 
were printed that gave to the subcontractor all the increase, 
I do not wonder that he had them destroyed. 

Here you get, we will say, a contract for ten thousand 
dollars for one trip, with the agreement that if there are 
two trips the compensation shall be twenty thousand dol 
lars. Thereupon you make a contract with a subcontractor, 
and you agree in that subcontract that he shall have all 



434 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

the increase. Of course, you want that made over again ; 
of course, you would not make that kind of a subcontract. 

He directed them to be put back on the press, and this provision 
giving the subcontractor his money struck out and this other clause 
put in. 

Gentlemen, that is an entire and absolute mistake. 
There is no such evidence, there never was in this case, 
and I take it there never will be. The evidence was and 
you remember it ; and you remember it ; and you remem 
ber it ; and you [addressing different jurors] that Stephen 
W. Dorsey allowed to the subcontractor sixty-five per cent, 
of the expedition, and that same subcontractor provided 
what he should have for one trip, and what he should have 
for two trips; that is to say, what he should have for in 
crease ; and it provided at the same time for sixty-five per 
cent, on expedition. Mr. Boone swears it ; others swear 
it. Not only that, but it is printed in the record again and 
again and again. Why did Stephen W. Dorsey do that ? I 
can tell you why : He did not. Why did Stephen W. 
Dorsey do that, if it was not because his fertile imagina 
tion had already conceived the plan of defrauding the 
United States, and he was making an arrangement by which 
that fraud could be consummated ? How would that help 
him consummate a fraud ? Suppose he struck out all the 
per cent, to the subcontractors ; suppose he had not had 
any subcontract printed ; suppose the subcontract was 
printed, and printed on purpose to deceive and defraud the 
subcontractors ; how does that show that he was trying to 
defraud the United States ? Why, if it proves anything it 
proves the other, that he had not entered into a conspiracy 
by which he could get the money from the United States, 
but had endeavored to get it from the subcontractors. If 
it proves anything it proves that. But the reason it does 
not prove anything is because the statement is not correct. 

Now, just see how a conspiracy can be built of that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 435 

material. A man that can do that can make a cover for 
Barnum's Circus with one postage-stamp ; he can make a 
suit of clothes out of a rabbit-skin ; he can make a grain 
of mustard seed cover the whole air without growing. 

That is given as an evidence that Dorsey had conspired. 
There is not a thing on the earth that he could have done 
that would not prove conspiracy just as well as that just 
exactly no other act. Humph ! That is the way they 
build a conspiracy. 

Why not take another step ? Why not have a little bit 
of ordinary good hard sense ? On the i yth day of May, I 
believe, 1878, the act was passed allowing the subcontractor 
to put his subcontract on file. Now, that contract ought 
to provide for all the contingencies of the service, so that 
if the trips were increased the Government would know 
how much to pay that subcontractor ; so that if the time 
was expedited the Government would know how much to 
pay the subcontractor. The subcontract ought to have 
been made in that way, and it would be perfectly proper to 
make it in that way. 

I once went to see a friend of mine who had the ery 
sipelas and who was a little crazy. I sat down by his bed 
side, and he said, " Ingersoll, I have made a discovery ; I 
just tell you I am going to be a millionaire." Said I, 
" What is it ? " He says, " I have found out that if four 
persons take hold of hands after they have had a hole 
made in the ground and put a piece of stove-pipe in it, and 
then run around it as hard as they can from left to right, 
a ball of butter will come out of the pipe." Now, I think 
that is about as reasonable as the way conspiracies are 
made, according to Mr. Bliss. 

Now, we come to Mr. Boone (page 1560). He says that 
the action he had taken was upon his own responsibility, 
and that at no time had any papers been gotten up with 
any view of defrauding the Government. That was good. 



43^ CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

I am like the Democrat who said, after hearing the returns 
from Berks County, " That sounds good." Then, here is a 
question asked him : 

Q. I understood you to say that the contract was made between 
you and somebody, fixing your interest in all this business? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Do you recollect about the date of that? A. I think it is on the 
day John W. Dorsey got here in Washington. 

On page 1561 he swears that at the time Boone made 
that contract with John W. Dorsey he and Dorsey had not 
conspired to defraud the Government in any way, nor did 
they ever do so after that contract was made. When was 
that contract made? It was made on the i5th day of 
January, 1878. Who made it ? John W. Dorsey of the one 
part, and Albert E. Boone of the other. And they tell 
exactly what that contract was for. Here is the contract, 
on page 1561, and this shows that the statement of Stephen 
W. Dorsey, that the t matter was deferred until John W 
Dorsey should come, is absolutely correct : 

That the parties to this agreement shall share in all the profits, gains, 
and losses as follows : John W. Dorsey shall have two-thirds and 
Albert E. Boone, share one-third. 

Now, gentlemen, there was the original partnership 
agreement. Let us see if that was ever dissolved. 

The next contract was made on the i2th of September, 
1878. 

Now, therefore, in consideration of one dollar in hand paid, the re 
ceipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, I hereby, sell, assign, and 
transfer to Albert E. Boone all my said two-thirds interest in th<; 
routes in the name of said Boone in the States of Texas, Louisiana 
Arkansas, Kansas, and Nebraska, and in the name of said Dorsey in 
the States of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. 

The reason he did that was because Mr. Miner had made 
a contract with Boone to that effect ; and probably I had 
better read that now so that you will have it exactly and 
know what we are doing. I read from page 1569 : 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 437 

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 7, 1878. 

Whereas A. E. Boone has this day, for the purpose of saving a 
failure in the routes in the name of John R. Miner, John M. Peck, and 
John W. Dorsey 

"For the purpose of saving a failure," recollect. Al 
though Stephen W. Dorsey, according to the prosecution, 
was a conspirator, and although John W. Dorsey was 
another, and Peck was another, yet on the 7th day of 
August, 1878, "for the purpose of saving a failure," they 
made this : 

assigned to John R. Miner his one-third interest in the routes in their 
names, now, therefore, I, John R. Miner, agree that John W. Dorsey 
shall assign his interest in routes in the name of A. E. Boone in Kan 
sas and Nebraska, Texas and Louisiana, and Arkansas ; in the name 
of John W. Dorsey, in Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas. The latter 
clause not guaranteed. 

JOHN R. MINER. 

Now, he said to Mr. Boone, " I have got to have another 
man come in ; we haven't got the money to run these routes ; 
I have got to get somebody with us ; if you will go out, 
I will agree that John W. Dorsey will assign to you his 
two-thirds interest in all the routes in Kansas, Nebraska, 
Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. I will agree that John W. 
Dorsey, although he has a two-thirds interest in all these 
routes, shall assign them to you, A. E. Boone, and they 
shall thereupon become your property." That agreement 
was made on the 7th of August, 1878; and then, as I read 
you before, 011 the i2th day of September, Miner made that 
promise good, and John W. Dorsey did assign to Boone his 
two-thirds interest in all the routes that Miner said he 
would. Then Boone was out of it. He had no more to do 
with Miner, Peck & Co., and no more to do with John W. 
Dorsey ; he went his road and they went theirs. He went 
out in consideration that John W. Dorsey would give him 
(Boone) two-thirds of all the routes that he before that time 



438 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

had one-third in. Then Miner took in Mr. Vaile, because 
he had the money to go on with the business. 

Page 1562, still talking about Mr. Boone. There is 
another very suspicious circumstance that was brought up 
by the prosecution. These bids were put in in different names, 
and that was looked at as a very suspicious circumstance I 
What does Boone say about that ? He says that the object 
in bidding in separate names was not to defraud the Gov 
ernment, but was to have the service divided up and not to 
bid against each other. That was reasonable. The arrange 
ment was simply to keep from injuring themselves ; it was 
not made to defraud the Government, but it was made so 
that they might not by accident injure each other. It was a 
common thing for members of a firm to bid in that way, and 
it is a common thing for persons to organize themselves for 
the purpose of bidding and running contracts, and when 
they thus bid they always bid in their individual names. 
The fact that we bid in our individual names was taken as a 
circumstance going to show that we had conspired to de 
fraud the Government, and a witness they bring forward to 
prove that fact swears that it has been the custom for all 
firms to bid in their individual names. Away goes that 
suspicion. The coat-tail of that point horizontalizes in the 
dim distance. 

Page 1563. The point was made, gentlemen, that we 
bid on long routes with slow time, knowing understand, 
knowing that the service would be increased and that the 
time would be shortened. The only word I object to there 
is the word " knowing." That we bid on long routes with 
slow time thinking that the service would be increased and 
the time shortened was undoubtedly true. That we bid ex 
pecting that the service might be increased and the time 
shortened is undoubtedly true. That when we bid we took 
into consideration the probability of the service being in 
creased and the time shortened is undoubtedly true. The 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 439 

only difference is the difference between thinking and know 
ing ; between taking into account probabilities and making 
the bid because we had made a bargain with the Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General. That is the difference. Let 
us see what Boone says about it. I read from page 1563 : 

On all service of three times a week and under there is a chance 
for improvement in getting it up to six or seven times a week. 

Everybody who has ordinary common sense knows that ! 
If I bid on service for once a week there is a great deal bet 
ter chance for getting an increase of trips than if there were 
seven when I started. Everybody knows that. There is 
about six times as good a chance. 

All contractors consider that 
That chance 

in their bids, and bid lower on one, two, and three times a week 
service than on a daily service 

Why? 
because the chances are the route will be increased. 

Boone swears on the same page that he always did that 
himself ; that he always had done it. Yet that is lugged in 
here as evidence of a conspiracy. 

There is a great deal better chance for expedition when a route is 
let at two or three miles an hour, than when it is let at six or seven. 

Of course there is. The slower it is let the better chance 
of getting it expedited. The faster it is let the less chance 
of getting it expedited. There is no need of bringing a man 
here to show that. You know that. If you thought there 
was more money in expedition and increase than on the 
original schedule, you would, as I insist, bid on such routes 
as the advertisement showed the time was to be slow and the 
service infrequent upon. Now, gentlemen, to take advan 
tage of such a perfectly apparent thing as that will not do. 
You have heard a good deal about star routes, gentlemen. 
Every one of you by this time ought to make a pretty good 



44 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Postmaster-General ; every one of you. If you do not know 
all about this subject, you never will. 

The FOREMAN (Mr. Crane). We ought to be good law 
yers, too. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. You also ought to be good lawyers, at 
least on this subject ! I do not know that you have all the 
testimony in your minds, as there have been so many mis- 
statements made, but if you ever are to know anything on 
this subject you know something now ; and if you, Mr. 
Foreman, or you Mr Renshaw, were to-morrow to go to 
work to bid on some star routes you would bid on the 
longest routes, on the slowest time, and with the most in 
frequent trips. You would do that. Then would you say, 
" That is evidence that we have conspired"? Has a man 
got to be so stupid that he will not take advantage of a 
perfectly plain thing in order to escape the charge of con 
spiracy ? If you were to put your money in land in the 
Western country you would not go where the country was 
settled up, and give one hundred dollars an acre for land. 
You would go where you could get land for two, or three, 
or four, or five dollars an acre, and say, "There is a 
chance for land to rise." That is not conspiracy. So if 
you were going to bid on mail service you would bid where 
the time is slow, or the route long, and the service once a 
week. Then you would say that the country might grow, 
that railroads might be built and that they might get the 
service up to seven trips a week ; and that instead of going 
on two miles an hour may be they would want to make it 
seven miles an hour. That is the service to make money 
on. Is it a crime to make money ? Is it a crime to make 
a good bargain with the Government ? I suppose these 
gentlemen of the prosecution made the best bargain they 
could with the Government themselves. Is it a crime ? I 
say no. Is a man to be regarded as a conspirator because 
some outsider thinks he got too good a bargain ? That 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 441 

will not do. Boone says he always did that. Of course he 
did. He says another thing. These gentlemen say that 
we did not go above three trips, and that is another evidence 
of fraud. They say we did not bid on any route with more 
than three trips a week. Mr. Boone tells you, on page 
1565, that the department never advertised for four trips a 
week. That is the reason I think they did not bid on any 
of these. He also swears that they never advertised for 
five trips. That is a good reason for our not taking any 
routes with five trips, is it not ? There were not any ad 
vertised. The Government did not offer to let us have any. 
That is a good reason for not taking any of them. The 
Government had not any of that kind. After you get be 
yond three trips Boone swears that the next number is six 
or seven ; never four, never five. Don't you see ? And yet 
it is a very suspicious circumstance that we did not bid on 
any four-trip routes, or any five-trip routes ; that we 
stopped at three. Why did we stop at three ? Because if 
we had not stopped at three we would have had to go to 
six. Why did we not go to six ? Because at six trips a 
week we would have been obliged to put up too much 
money, and to put up too many certified checks. It re 
quired too many men to go on the bonds. That is the rea 
son. Gentlemen, if there had been a conspiracy it would 
have been just about as well for us to bid on six or seven 
trips to get the expedition of time. If there had been a 
conspiracy to make money, and it had been understood by 
the Second Assistant Postmaster-General, he could have 
just as well given us routes with seven trips a week, 
and put the service up to seven, eight, nine, or ten miles 
an hour, and he could have done that in the thickly-popu 
lated parts of the country ; if it had been the result of a 
conspiracy. 

Let me read more from what Mr. Boone says on 
page 1565 : 



442 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

The proposals that I destroyed were upon routes of at least six 
times per week. 

How did he come to destroy them ? Another suspicious 
circumstance against Dorsey ! Boone said when he went 
into the business he just took the bidding-book and com 
menced at A, and was going right straight through to X, 
Y, and Z, and make a bid, I believe, on every route that 
was in the book. I think that is his testimony. Boone 
says : 

I was going on without instructions. I was going on without au 
thority from anybody, working on the bids. 

He thinks it was the same day that Miner got here, or 
the day afterwards, and he I suppose meaning Dorsey 
came up to the room and saw what the witness was doing. 
He was making up bids for every route in the advertise 
ment, going right along with big and little, when Dorsey 
said there was a mistake. No proposals were to be made 
for over three times a week or for routes under fifty miles. 
When Miner came into the room witness asked what was 
the reason of that. I say upon this point that Stephen W. 
Dorsey never said a word about it, and that Boone is mis 
taken. But he says he asked Miner the reason. What 
did Miner say ? Did he say to him, " It is because we have 
got a conspiracy ? We have got it fixed with the Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General"? No. He said this, he said 
for fear of failure in getting bonds ; that they could not get 
the bonds for all the service and could not get certified 
checks for all the service. Boone was going clear through 
the book from preface to finis. They could not get bonds 
for all the service and could not get certified checks for all 
the service. You remember that for all the service over 
five thousand dollars they had to put up five per cent., I 
think, in certified checks. Now, there was an immense 
volume, of three or four thousand routes and he was going 
to put in a bid on every one of them. That is what Boone 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 443 

was going to do. He did not understand the conspiracy at 
that time. Miner explained to him, " We cannot get the 
certified checks. We cannot get the bondsmen." He did not 
tell him, " Good Lord, my friend, you don't understand the 
terms of the conspiracy. We are taking no such service 
as that. We are taking none over three times a week, be 
cause, don't you see, we want the chance for increase. We 
want the lowest. If we can find any service where the 
horses agree to stand still, that is the service to take. You 
must look over the terms of the conspiracy and have some 
sense about it." 

Boone says he was starting in, taking the advertisements, 
going right through the territory, all over that country, 
and bidding on every route, not missing one. He never 
saw Stephen W. Dorsey do any work on the bids. The 
proposals sent down to the postmasters in Arkansas, in 
cluding those to Clendenning, he (Boone) fixed himself 
and sealed them. Gentlemen, there is no evidence that Mr. 
Dorsey, as I understand it, ever saw one of those papers, 
but simply the form that was written out by Boone that 
was sent to Clendenning with instructions what to do with 
the proposals. That I understand to be the evidence. 
They proved by Boone that Dorsey never saw them ; never 
wrote them ; never ordered them to be written ; never 
ordered a blank to be left unfilled. And yet, gentlemen, he 
was the man whom they say had brooded over this con 
spiracy ; the man that gave to it life and form. He is the 
man that used Boone and John W. Dorsey and Peck and 
Miner as instrumentalities and tools. 

What more ? Did Boone take those bonds up to Dorsey 
and show them to him ? He says that he did not open 
them ; that he did not show them to Dorsey. That is what 
Mr. Boone swears. Surely Mr. Boone is an honorable man, 
stamped with the seal of the Department of Justice. He 
did not even show them to Dorsey. Dorsey never saw any- 



444 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

thing except the form after Boone had made it out. I 
showed you that form on yesterday, I think, marked 16 X. 
That is the only thing that Dorsey saw. He did not know 
what blanks were left in the bonds, or whether any were 
left. He never gave any orders about them, and never saw 
them. Yet the prosecution want you to hold him respon 
sible as a conspirator for those bonds. 

What more, gentlemen ? Those bonds were never used. 
Nobody was ever defrauded. Not a proposal was put in 
the Post-Office Department. They never came to life. 
Dead ! No contract, says Mr. Boone, was ever awarded on 
those proposals, even the proposals sent back, unless it was 
a contract to him, Boone. That is what he swears. And 
yet Dorsey is to be held responsible. 

Let us hurry along, gentlemen. See how Dorsey came to 
do this. How did that arch-conspirator, as they claim him 
to be, happen to write that letter to Clendenning ? On page 
1567 Boone says that he suggested to Dorsey that he had 
better send a note with the proposals to Clendenning. 
Boone suggested it. He was not a conspirator, but he sug 
gested it. Dorsey was the conspirator, but never dreamed 
of it. How fortunate for a conspirator to have an innocent 
man think of the means of carrying out a conspiracy ; never 
thinking of crime, but having it all suggested by perfect 
innocence and then crime taking advantage of it. That is 
the position ! He suggested that Dorsey would better send a 
note with the proposals to Clendenning. I will read from 
page 1568: 

Q. Was there not danger that he would be declared a failing con 
tractor ? Was it at that time the practice of the department if a man, 
for instance, had fifty contracts and failed on one to declare him a 
failing contractor on all ? A. No, sir ; but they would declare him a 
failing contractor on that one route and suspend his pay until he paid 
up the loss to the Government just my case now, exactly. 

Q. That was one of the reasons that you had. Now, you were 
informed at that time that they had not the money to carry this on. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 445 

When, as a matter of fact, did you go out of the concern ? A. The 
8th day of August, 1878. 

Q. Was S. W. Dorsey then in Washington ? A. No, sir ; he was 
not. He had been gone ten or twelve days. 

Now, then, we come to August 7, 1878, the time that Mr. 
Boone went out. He did it for the purpose of saving a 
failure on the routes in the names of Miner, Peck, Dorsey, 
and himself. That is what he went out for, and that is his 
only reason. On page 1570 Mr. Boone swears that so far 
as he knows neither John W. Dorsey, John R. Miner, John 
M. Peck, nor Stephen W. Dorsey had any arrangement with 
the Second Assistant Postmaster-General to increase the 
service ; none whatever. 

Boone went out on the 7th day of August, 1878. S. W. 
Dorsey was in New Mexico. He did not return here until 
about the time Congress assembled in December. Boone 
swears that he then learned from S. W. Dorsey that he, 
Dorsey, did not know that Boone was out of the concern ; 
did not know that he had left on the 7th day of August, 
1878. Now, gentlemen, if Stephen W. Dorsey was the 
main conspirator, if he was doing this entire business, is it 
possible that A. E. Boone went out on the 7th day of 
August, that John W. Dorsey assigned his interest in all the 
routes mentioned in the agreement, and John R. Miner took 
in Vaile, and the service was put on those routes by the 
money furnished by Vaile, that all that was done and yet 
Stephen W. Dorsey never heard of it and did not even know 
that Boone was out, did not even know that Vaile was in ? 
Besides that, gentlemen, as I told you, Dorsey was not here. 
He was in New Mexico. He was in utter ignorance of this 
entire business, and yet they claim that he was the directing 
spirit. 

Mr. Boone further testifies, on page 1571, that Brady 
showed him a telegram from the postmistress at The Dalles, 
saying that the service was down. When I read that I 
thought may be that was where Moore got his hint to swear 



446 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that he telegraphed to find out what was done with that 
service. Boone further swears that Brady said that it must 
be put on ; that he said it could not be put on at the con 
tract price, and that Brady told him, " I advise you to tele 
graph and put it on at any price," and that unless all the 
service was on by the i5th day of August he would declare 
the contractor a failing contractor on every route the service 
was down upon. That is what Brady told him. Stephen 
W. Dorsey was not here. According to the testimony of 
Moore he knew when he went away that the service in 
Oregon was not put on, but he abandoned it, and paid no 
attention to it. He happened to meet Miner at Saint Louis, 
and told him, I believe, "There are my notes for eight 
thousand five hundred dollars. That is all I will do. I am 
through ! I have already advanced thirteen or fourteen 
thousand dollars. I will not advance another dollar." 
Why did not Miner tell him, " If you are not going on with 
this conspiracy I am going home " ? Why didn't Miner tell 
him then, " What did you get up a conspiracy like this for, 
just to abandon it"? Why did not Miner say to him, 
" This is your child. I became a criminal at your suggestion. 
I entered into this conspiracy because you urged me to, and 
now after we have got the routes, you are going to abandon 
it"? Why did he not say to him, "Dorsey, if you are not 
going on with this conspiracy I am going back to San- 
dusky"? Did Dorsey at Saint Louis treat it as his bant 
ling? or did he say to Miner, "This is all I will do"? Did 
he mean for himself ? No. " All I will do for you." 

Certainly he would not have made the threat to Miner 
that he would not do anything more for himself. He then 
said to Miner, " I am through ! " Miner knew at that time 
that Stephen W. Dorsey had not the interest of one 
solitary dollar except the money he had advanced. 
Stephen W. Dorsey, according to the testimony of this 
prosecution, knew when he left this city that the routes 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 447 

were not in operation in Eastern Oregon. He went away 
knowing that J. W. Dorsey and John R. Miner and John 
M. Peck were in danger of being declared failing contract 
ors. Yet he never even called on Brady to see about it. 
He never asked to have the time extended a minute. He 
never took the least interest in the business. He started 
for New Mexico, and went by way of Oberlin, Ohio. He 
happened to meet Miner in Saint Louis, and for Miner's 
sake, for Peck's sake, for John W. Dorsey's sake, and not 
for his own sake, he gave them some notes to the extent of 
eight thousand five hundred dollars that they could have 
discounted, and said to Miner then and there. " That is 
the last dollar. That is the last cent." What more did he 
do ? He abandoned the whole business. He went to New 
Mexico. He never wrote about it ; he never spoke about 
it ; he never received a dispatch concerning it until the 
following December, when he came back to Washington, 
and then for the first time found that Boone had gone out 
and that Vaile had come in. What more ? Although he 
was interested to the extent of thirteen or fourteen thou 
sand dollars, he did not know until he came back in 
December that his security had been rendered worthless. 
He found that out then for the first time. That is a fine 
model of a conspirator. Reading again from Boone's 
testimony, on page 1371 : 

Fully a month and a half of the time had been taken up by the Con 
gressional investigation, and we 

That is to say, Miner, Peck, Boone, and the rest 

did not know what to do with the service. We dared not to move. 
We expected that the contracts would be taken from us. 

Do you tell me that under such circumstances, if Stephen 
W. Dorsey had conceived this thing, he would have gone 
off and left it ? Do you tell me, with the entire business 
trembling in the balance, without the money to put the 
service on, at the mercy of Thomas J. Brady, that if 



448 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Stephen W. Dorsey had gotten up that conspiracy, and also 
put in thirteen or fourteen thousand dollars, he would have 
gone away and left it, and told Miner and the others, " I 
will have no more to do with it," and leave it so effectually 
and so perfectly that he did not even know that Booue had 
gone out and Vaile had come in until the following 
December, when he came here to take his seat in the 
Senate ? 

On page 1580, again quoting from Mr. Boone : 
The fact- 
Here is something that rises like the Rock of Gibraltar. 
It is one of those indications of truth that rascality never 
had ingenuity enough to invent : 

The fact that Dorsey refused to advance any more money on 
account of this business was taken into consideration by me when I 
made up my mind to go out. 

Do you want any better testimony than that, that Dorsey 
did refuse to advance any more money ? 

Don't you see how everything fits together when you get 
at the facts ? How naturally they all blend and harmonize 
when you get at the facts. Now, here is some more from 
Mr. Boone: 

If I had not gone out the service would have undoubtedly failed, 
unless they got the money to put it on. When Mr. Dorsey declined 
to furnish any more money or to indorse any more notes, there was 
nothing else to do but for me to go out and let somebody else come 
in who had the money. 

That is a witness for the Government, and yet at the 
time that happened they say there was a great conspiracy ; 
that the Second Assistant Postmaster-General was in it ; 
that a Senator of the United States was in it ; and that 
these other men were simply tools. It will not do, gentle 
men. If that had been the case Stephen W. Dorsey would 
have remained here. He would have gone to Mr. Brady 
and said, " I must have time," and Mr. Brady would have 
given him all the time he desired, because, according to 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 449 

this prosecution, it was their partnership business. Brady 
had ten times as great an interest as Stephen W. Dorsey. 
According to the testimony of Mr. Rerdell, Brady had an 
interest of thirty-three and one-third per cent., and accord 
ing to the testimony of Rerdell and Boone, Dorsey only 
had an interest of seven-eighths of one per cent. 

That means, as I understand it, according to their testi 
mony, thirty-three and one-third per cent, of the gross ex 
pedition ; not profits, but of the gross expedition. That is 
what they swear. When he gave on a route an expedition 
of, say, six thousand dollars, two thousand dollars would 
go to Brady each year. In other words, thirty-three and 
one-third per cent, of the money paid for expedition went 
to Brady. 

Mr. Walsh testified and gave the exact figures, and 
called the amount, if the Court will recollect, sixty thou 
sand dollars, and twenty per cent, he said of that is twelve 
thousand dollars. That had to run, he says, for three 
years, and that made thirty-six thousand dollars. That is 
the testimony in this case, gentlemen. If you should have 
a row of men as long as the row of kings that Banquo saw, 
stretching out " to the crack of doom," and they should 
swear to it, I should still die an unbeliever; but that is 
their testimony. Dorsey ran away and left his conspiracy 
and Brady would not attend to his own business. Now, I 
read again from Boone : 

With regard to the preparation of circulars, the sending of them to 
postmasters, the printing of proposals, the printing of bonds and sub 
contracts, there was nothing done differently from what I had always 
done before. 

Recollect that. He is a Government witness. Dorsey 
in a conspiracy got Boone to help him, and in helping him 
Booue did nothing different from what he had always done 
before. There is not much left of this case, gentlemen, 
but I will keep going on just the same. Mr. Boone swears 



450 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that he followed the regular custom and practice of doing 
business. 

Then, there is another suspicious circumstance. At the 
bottom of the contracts published by the Government, for 
the purpose of informing contractors as to how the bonds 
or contracts are to be signed, and exactly what is to be 
done by each person, there are a lot of instructions. 

Mr. CARPENTER. On the proposals. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. On the proposals. When they got up 
the proposals of their own, they, understanding the busi 
ness, left off all those directions that the Government put 
upon its forms. Why ? Those directions were put there 
for the benefit of men who did not understand the business. 
These men did understand the business, and consequently 
it was nonsense for them if they had to have the printing 
done, to put on the bottom of the contracts two or three 
paragraphs of directions to themselves. They understood 
exactly how to do it without the directions. 

Who left them off? Stephen W. Dorsey? No. John 
W. Dorsey ? No. He had nothing to do with it. Miner ? 
No. He had nothing to do with it. Who left them off ? 
Boone says he did. Was he instructed to do it ? No. Did 
it take a conspiracy to leave them off ? No. He left them 
off for two reasons, and good ones, too. One was to save 
the expense of printing. That was a good reason. There 
was no conspiracy needed for that. The other was, that 
knowing how to perfect the proposals, and understanding all 
those instructions, there was no need of having them printed 
for their benefit. 

Next, on page 1582. What instructions as a matter of 
fact did Mr. Boone receive from Mr. Dorsey, if he received 
any? The question arises, upon what subject? In refer 
ence to what particular point ? Boone says on this page 
that he received no instructions from Dorsey in reference 
to the business except in regard to the subcontract blanks. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 451 

That is the one subject on which he received any instruc 
tions from S. W. Dorsey. I have shown you that those in 
structions were in the interests of honesty and fair dealing. 
Those were the only instructions he received. On every 
other subject there is not a word. Why ? Here Boone 
gives the reason. " I did not require any." Why ? Be 
cause he understood the business himself. What else ? "I 
was to go ahead and do whatever was necessary to be done." 
He did it without consulting anybody. He did it in his 
own way. He did it as he thought best for all concerned. 
Now, gentlemen, there will be an effort made to convince 
you that Stephen W. Dorsey did everything during all that 
period. If you are told that, when you are told it remember 
what I tell you now : that Mr. Boone swears that he did it 
himself ; that he attended to the entire business, and that 
he was instructed by Dorsey in no particular except as to 
that one blank, and that I have clearly demonstrated was in 
the interests of honesty and in the interests of the subcon 
tractor, so that the subcontract might agree with or be 
similar to the contract made with the Government. That is 
all. 

Now we come to another point. You must recollect that 
Mr. Boone got out the circulars. Mr. Boone sent to all the 
postmasters to know about the roads and the price of grain 
and the price of labor, about the snow in winter and the rain 
in the spring. He got all that up. He went through the 
bidding-book originally and made the bids. He it was who 
prepared most of these proposals. He did all the work un 
til Miner came. S. W. Dorsey did not do any of it. Boone 
never saw him working upon or touching the proposals. 
What S. W. Dorsey did he did at Boone's request. What 
he did he did at Miner's request. What he did he did 
simply because he was a friend. Boone attended to it all. 
Now, what does Boone say on page 1584 ? He swears that 
so far as he knew there never was any conspiracy on the 



452 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

part of these defendants with him, with each other, or any 
body else, in reference to these routes, or any route bid for 
and awarded to them during that time. There was no con 
spiracy to defraud the Government in any way. That is 
what the Government witness swears to a man brought 
here to stain the reputation of Stephen W. Dorsey. That is 
what a Government witness swears ; swearing, too, under 
pressure ; swearing, too, under circumstances where the 
Post-Office Department could strip him of everything he 
had on earth ; swearing under circumstances where if he 
did not please the Government they could pursue him as 
they have pursued us. Perhaps I had better read what he 
says. I read from page 1583 of my examination : 

Now, then, so far as you know, Mr. Boone, was there any conspir 
acy on the part of any of these defendants with you, or with anybody 
else, to your knowledge, in respect of these routes mentioned in the 
indictment or of any routes bid for and awarded to them during that 
time any conspiracy to defraud the Government in any way? 

And he answered : 

No, sir. 

That was a Government witness, acquainted with all the 
transactions during that time. He was swearing under the 
shadow of power, with the sword hanging over his head, 
and yet he swears he never knew or heard of any such 
thing. 

Let us go on. On page 1589 he swears that Mr. Dorsey 
told him to fix the blanks and make them up and to write 
what he wanted done in Arkansas, and that while he, Boone, 
was engaged in so doing he said to Dorsey, " Had you not 
better write a note so that I can attach it to the blanks ? " 
And Dorsey did so. Dorsey told him to fill up what he 
wanted in Arkansas, and what was necessary to be executed 
there, and he did so. 

Boone indicated exactly what he wanted put in. I showed 
you the Clendenning bonds yesterday and showed you just 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 453 

what Boone did. He filled up the blanks that he wanted to 
have filled down there. Of course, the blanks that were 
already filled in he did not want interfered with. That is 
what he says. There is another part of his testimony. I 
want to call the attention of the gentlemen to it. "I hand 
you," said they, " 32 X." Mr. Bliss did the handing. 
What was that? That was the Chico letter. What did 
they want to introduce that for? To show that S. W. 
Dorsey was interested personally in these routes in 1878. 
That was a magnificent piece of testimony for them to show 
that Dorsey in 1878 was writing to Rerdell to watch the ad 
vertisement of these routes. So they introduced that letter. 
Mr. Boone looked at it. He was a Government witness. 
The noose was around his neck and the other end of the 
rope was in the hands of Mr. Bliss. What did Mr. Boone 
say ? " Mr. Dorsey never wrote that letter." Then said 
Mr. Bliss to him, " That is not Mr. Dorsey's writing ? " 
And Mr. Boone said " No, sir." And at the same time 
threw the forged scrap away contemptuously. What else ? 
On April 3, 1878, Mr. Dorsey was here. 

Mr. MERRICK. Was Mr Dorsey here at that time ? 
WITNESS. He was here, sir ; and I was in communication with 
him on that very day. 

That is the evidence of a Government witness; a man 
who was depended upon to show that not only my client, 
but that Mr. Miner entered into a conspiracy in the fall of 
1877 to defraud this Government. I want you to remember 
one thing which I was about to forget. Mr. Ker, I believe, 
spoke six or seven days and I do not remember of his 
having mentioned the Chico letter. He acted as if it had a 
contagious disease. He was followed by Mr. Bliss in another 
week, but he did not mention the Chico letter ; at least I 
have never happened to read it in his speech. Both of 
them are as dumb as oysters after a clap of thunder. Not 
a word. They did not, either of them, have the courage 



454 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

to refer to it. They did not have the nerve to ask you to 
believe it. I tell you one thing, gentlemen, I would either 
admit that it was a forgery, or I would swear that it was 
genuine. I would do something with it. I would not 
allow that paper, blown by the wind, to scare me from the 
highway of the argument ! I would do one thing or the 
other. I would either admit that Mr. Rerdell forged it, or 
I would insist that it was the handwriting of Stephen W. 
Dorsey. Why was it left where it was, gentlemen ? They 
could not get anybody to swear that it was Dorsey's hand 
writing. That is all. 

Now we will take the next step. They had so much 
confidence in that witness that they concluded they would 
prove the pencil memorandum by him. They had such a 
clutch on him. So they stuck that up to him. Recollecting 
the position he was in, recollecting the danger, recollecting 
all that might probably follow speaking the truth, here is 
what he says : 

Everything above "profit and loss" in that memorandum favors 
the handwriting of S. W. Dorsey. 

What else ? 

And everything below favors the handwriting of M. C. Rerdell. 

Fit conclusion for a Government witness, brought here to 
show that Stephen W. Dorsey was the arch-conspirator. 
And they ended the witness ; dismissed him from the stand, 
after he had shown that Dorsey did not conspire ; after he 
had shown that he himself fixed the subcontracts, with the 
exception of only one ; after he had shown that he himself 
filled out the blanks to send to Clendenning ; after he had 
shown that he did everything without being advised by 
S. W. Dorsey, and then he swore that their principal witness 
was a forger. Then they dismissed him. That was the end 
of the Government witness who was to brand the word 
" conspirator " upon the forehead of Stephen W. Dorsey's repu 
tation. But instead of putting " conspirator " there, he put the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 455 

word " forger " upon the principal witness for the Govern 
ment. Magnificent exchange ! Now, gentlemen, you know 
as well as I do that Mr. Boone knew all that was happening 
during that entire time. You know as well as I do that he 
did not swear anything for the defence that he could help 
swearing. 

What else ? Mr. Bliss, on page 303, says that : 
Parties conspiring make an informal verbal agreement 
When did we make that agreement? When does the 
testimony show that we made an informal verbal agree 
ment ? Who were present at the time ? Where were we ? 
Do you recollect the number of the house ? Do you recol 
lect the day of the month ? Has any one of you ever had 
in his mind which side of the street that was on ? What 
town was it in ? Could you locate it if you had a good map ? 
I do not care whether it is informal or formal. Did we 
make one ? In order to make a verbal agreement you have 
to use some words. Is there any evidence as to the words 
we used ? Not a word that I have heard, not a word. 

What else ? He says that this is necessarily secret and 
intended to be secret. The first thing done was that Dorsey 
told it to Moore. Then, for fear it would get out, J. W. 
Dorsey told it to Pennell and to thirty fellows around the 
camp-fire out in Dakota. And there was a suspicion in 
Brady's mind that somebody might hear of it, and so he 
told Rerdell. He says, "Get the books copied; this is a 
secret thing" Then Dorsey wrote it to Bosler, and he was 
so awfully afraid that it would get out that he kept a copy 
of the letter. You see, Mr. Bliss says the object was to 
keep it secret. Then Miner and Vaile told it to Rerdell for 
fear he would not believe it when Brady told him. They 
were bound the thing should not get out. Yes, sir. And 
then Rerdell, just bursting with the importance of keeping 
that secret, told it to Perkins and Taylor ; went away out 
there for that purpose. And then Moore, he gave it away 



456 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

to Major and McBean for the purpose of keeping it secret. 
Then Miner told Moore. From whom did they keep it 
secret? Nobody in God's world but Boone. He is the 
only fellow that nobody told. Boone went through it all, 
saw all the plan and heard all the whispering, and he is the 
only man in the country, I think, that did not suspect it. 
And on the yth day of August he left the concern because 
there was not a conspiracy, and admits to you that if he had 
had even a suspicion of it he would have staid staid 
or died. 

Now, was there ever a conspiracy published so widely, 
that one end of the country kept so secret from the other ? 
Was there ever a conspiracy like that, the news of which 
ran through the West like wild-fire, while the fellows at the 
East never heard of it? Everybody knew it out on the 
plains. All you had to do was to subpoena a fellow that 
wanted to come to Washington, and he would remember it. 
And yet that is the evidence that the prosecution desires you 
to believe. I do not believe it. I do not think I ever shall. 
But then they promised so much at the beginning, and they 
have done so little in many respects. 

Something had to be said, and so Mr. Bliss, on page 265, 
in a little burst of confidence to the jury, says : 

At least one United States Senator was the paid agent of these de 
fendants. 

Who was the Senator ? 
Mr. BLISS. Did I say that, sir ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Look at page 265 and see whether you 
did. 

Mr. BLISS. Read all that I said there. 
Mr. INGERSOLL. I will do that. 

But we shall show to you that at least one United States Senator, 
urging such increase, was the paid agent of these defendants. 

Mr. BLISS. I then went on and said we should show it 
if you put him on the stand. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 457 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes, if we furnished you the evidence. 

Mr. BLISS. No, sir ; that is not what I said. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Why didn't you produce the Senator ? 

Mr. BLISS. Why didn't you put him on the stand ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. How did I know what Senator you 
meant ? 

Mr. BLISS. Did you have two? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. No, sir ; and we did not have the one. 
If you could have proved it, it was your duty, as the at 
torney of the United States, to do it, and if you did not do 
it, you did not do your duty in this case. 

Mr. BLISS. Whose name is expressed in the memorandum ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Why did you not say that to the jury ? 
You dared not do it. That is like what was said here the 
other day before this jury, and taken out of the record. 
We will come to it. These are the gentlemen who did not 
wish to stain the names of citizens. These are the gentle 
men who did not wish to bring anybody into this case that 
had not been indicted. And yet Mr. Bliss, in his opening, 
said that he would show you at least one Senator who was 
the paid agent of these defendants ; and now, having failed 
to do it, he stands here before you and asks whose name 
was on the pencil memorandum, meaning that J. H. Mitchell 
was the paid agent of these defendants. 

Ah, gentlemen, I would not, for the sake of convicting 
any man on this earth, stain the reputation of another in a 
place and in a way where that other could not defend him 
self. I would not do it. I do not think there is any 
crime beyond that. It is as bad to stab the reputation as 
it is to stab the flesh ; it is as bad to kill the honor of the 
man as to put a dagger into his heart. 

There are so many things in these papers that I would 
never get through, if I commented upon them all, if I 
talked forty years. I now refer to page 4509. I have 
to change from one of these lawyers to the other. Now, 



458 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

on this subject of subcontracts, showing how we are endeav 
oring to cheat and defraud the Government, Mr. Ker says, 
at page 4509 : 

Acting upon Stephen W. Dorsey's advice he put in this clause giv 
ing the subcontractors sixty-five per cent, of the increase. I want you 
to remember the sixty-five per cent., because I will show you some 
subcontracts with that amount in, but I do not want you to think for 
one moment that the subcontractors ever got a dollar out of it. 

Gentlemen, the evidence is that the subcontractors were 
paid the amount mentioned in their subcontracts. I be 
lieve all of them are on file in this case, and on all that were 
filed in the department the money was paid directly to the 
subcontractor. And yet Mr. Ker tells you that he does not 
want you to think for a moment that the subcontractors 
ever got one dollar out of it. Is it possible, gentlemen, that 
there is any necessity for resorting to such statements ? 
Can you conceive of an) T reason for doing it, except that 
they are actually mistaken, except for the fact that the}' 
know they have not the evidence to convict these de 
fendants ? 

We are not begging of you. We are not upon our knees 
before you. But we do want to be tried according to the 
evidence and according to the law. We do not want your 
mind, nor yours, nor yours [addressing different jurors] 
poisoned with a misstatement. We want to be tried, and 
we want the verdict rendered by you when every fact is as 
luminous in your mind as the sun at mid-day. We want 
every fact to stand out like stars in a perfect night, without 
a cloud of doubt between you and the fact. That is the 
kind of a verdict we want. We want a verdict that comes 
from a clear head and a brave heart. We do not want a 
verdict simply from sympathy. We want a verdict accord 
ing to the evidence and according to the law. And when 
the verdict is given we want every one of you to say, 
" That is my verdict ; I found it upon the evidence and 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 459 

upon the law ; dig beneath it and you will not find used 
as the corner-stone a misstatement, or a mistake, or a false 
hood ; it stands upon the rock of fact, upon the foundation 
of absolute truth." 

Do you know that if I were prosecuting a man, trying to 
take from him his liberty, trying to take from him his 
home, trying to rob his fireside and make it desolate, and 
if I should succeed and afterwards know that I had made a 
misstatement of the evidence to the jury, I could not sleep 
until I had done what was in my power to release that 
man ; and after he was released, or even if he were not re 
leased, I would go to him when he was wearing the prison 
garb, and I would get down on my knees and beg him to 
forgive me. I would rather be sent to the penitentiary 
myself, I would rather wear the stripes of eternal degrada 
tion, than to send another man there by a misstatement or 
a mistake that I had made. That is my feeling. I may be 
wrong. 

It may be that I am guilty, according to Colonel Bliss, of 
sneering at everything that people hold sacred. But I do 
not sneer at justice. I believe that over all, justice sits the 
eternal queen, holding in her hand the scales in which are 
weighed the deeds of men. I believe that it is my duty to 
make the world a little better, because I have lived in it. I 
believe in helping my fellow-men. I do no not sneer at 
charity ; I do not sneer at justice, and I do not sneer at 
liberty. And why did he make that remark to you, gentle 
men ? Is it possible that for a moment he dreamed that he 
might prejudice your minds against the case of my client, 
because, I, his attorney, am not what is called a believer ? 
Is it possible that he has so mean an opinion of a Christian 
that a Christian would violate his oath when upon the jury, 
simply to get even with a lawyer who happened to be an in 
fidel ? Is that his idea of Christianity ? It is not mine ; it 
is not mine. I stand before you to-day, gentlemen, as a man 



460 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

having the rights you have, and no more ; and I am willing 
to work and toil and surfer to give you every right that I 
enjoy. And I know that not one of you will allow himself 
to be prejudiced against my client because you and I happen 
to disagree upon subjects about which none of us know any 
thing for certain. I do not believe you will. And yet, that 
remark was made, gentlemen I will not say that it was 
made, but may be it was hoping that it would lodge the 
seed of prejudice in your minds, hoping that it might bring 
to life that little adder of hatred that sleeps unknown to us 
in nearly all of our bosoms. I have too much confidence in 
you, too much confidence in human nature to believe that 
can affect my client. 

Now, gentlemen, there is no pretence, there is no evi 
dence that every subcontractor did not get the per cent, 
mentioned in his subcontract, except one, and that was Mr. 
French, on the route from Kearney to Kent ; and the evi 
dence there is that Miner settled with him, I believe, and 
gave him a certain amount of money in lieu of expedition. 
That is the solitary exception. 

Now, gentlemen, I come to a most interesting part of 
this discussion, and I hope we will live through it. In the 
first place, what is a conspiracy ? Well, in this case, they 
must establish that it was an agreement entered into 
between the persons mentioned in this indictment, or two 
of them, to defraud the Government. How? By the 
means pointed out and described in the indictment. While 
it may not be absolutely necessary to describe the means, 
I hold that if they do describe them, tell how the conspir 
acy was to be accomplished, they are bound by their 
description; they must prove such a conspiracy as they 
describe. If a man is indicted for stealing a horse and the 
color of the horse is given, it will not do to prove a horse 
of another color. If they describe the offence they are 
bound by the description. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 461 

Now, this is a conspiracy entered into, as they claim, by 
the persons mentioned in the indictment, to do a certain 
thing. What is the object of the conspiracy ? To defraud 
the Government. And, gentlemen, I believe the Court will 
instruct you that the conspiring is the crime. The object 
of the conspiracy is to defraud the United States. What 
are the means? According to this indictment false peti 
tions, false oaths, false letters, false orders. What I insist 
on is that the means cannot take the place of the object ; 
that the means cannot take the place of the conspiracy 
described. When you describe a conspiracy by certain 
means to defraud the Government, and set out the means 
so that the Second Assistant Postmaster-General is a 
necessity, then you cannot turn and shift your ground, and 
say that it was not the conspiracy set out in the indictment, 
but that it was a conspiracy to do some of the things 
recited as means in the indictment ; you cannot say that it 
was not a conspiracy entered into with the Second Assist 
ant Postmaster-General, but was a conspiracy entered into 
with some others to make a false petition or a false 
affidavit. The ostrich of this prosecution will not be 
allowed to hide its head under the leaf of an affidavit. 
They must prove, in my judgment, the conspiracy that 
they describe in the indictment, and none other. 

Now, what else? You must be prepared, gentlemen, 
when you make up a verdict, if you say that there was a 
conspiracy, to say when it was entered into and who en 
tered into it. And I suppose when you retire, the first 
question for you to decide will be : Was there a conspir 
acy? Has any conspiracy been established beyond a rea 
sonable doubt ? If you say yes, then the next question for 
you to decide is, who conspired ? Who were the members 
of that conspiracy ? 

After you do that there is one other thing you have to 
do : You have to find that one of the conspirators, for the 



462 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

purpose of carrying the conspiracy into effect, did some 
thing ; that is called an overt act. You have to find that 
at least one of them did something to effect the object of 
that conspiracy. You must remember, gentlemen, that the 
overt act must come after the conspiracy. In other words, 
you cannot commit an overt act and make a conspiracy to 
at it ; you must have the conspiracy first, and then do an 
overt act for the purpose of accomplishing the object of 
that conspiracy. The conspiracy must come first, and the 
overt act afterwards. You all understand that now. 

Now, this indictment is so framed that the earliest time 
within the life of the statute of limitations for an overt act is 
the 23d day of May, 1879. Why ? The indictment charges 
that as the day, the conspiracy was entered into. Any 
overt act in consequence of that conspiracy must have been 
done after the 23d of May, 1879. Now, get that in your 
heads, level and square. The conspiracy, according to 
this, is not back of the 23d of May, 1879, ailc ^ an 3 r overt act 
done, in order to be considered an overt act, must be done 
after the date of that conspiracy. If they prove any act 
done before that time, it shows that it was not an overt 
act belonging to the conspiracy mentioned in the indict 
ment. If it is an overt act at all, it is an overt act of 
another conspiracy entered into before the date mentioned 
in this indictment, and consequently will not do for an 
overt act in this case. Now, I want you all to understand 
that. 

I forget how many overt acts are charged in this indict 
ment ; some sixty or seventy, I think. And understand 
me, now, gentlemen, no matter what date they fix to an 
overt act in the indictment, no matter whether there is any 
date to it or not in the indictment, if it turns out to have 
been done before the time fixed for the conspiracy it is 
dead as an overt act : it is good for nothing. The overt 
act is the fruit of the conspiracy ; the conspiracy is not the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 463 

result of the overt act. Now let me make a statement to 
you, so that you will understand it. 

Every petition, every letter, every affidavit, upon which 
orders for expedition were based, was filed before the 23d 
of May, 1879, except on two routes Toquerville to Adair- 
ville and Eugene City to Bridge Creek. If that is true, 
then not a solitary petition filed in this case can be con 
sidered as an overt act ; and a conspiracy without an overt 
act is nothing; it simply exists in the imagination; it is 
an agreement made of words and air, and never was vital 
ized with an act done by one of the conspirators for the 
purpose of giving it effect. Recollect that every petition, 
every affidavit, every letter filed, was filed before the 23d 
day of May, with the two exceptions I have mentioned. 
That is the date when the conspiracy came into being. 
And consequently an overt act must be after that time. 

Now,' when they came to write this indictment, why did 
they not tell the truth in it? I do not mean that in an 
offensive sense, because a man has the right to write in 
that indictment what he wants to. That is a matter of 
pleading. But why did they not tell the facts ? Why did 
they put in the indictment that a certain petition was filed 
on the 26th day of June, when they had the petition before 
them and knew that it was filed in April, 1879 ? Why did 
they put in that indictment that a certain affidavit was filed 
on the 26th or 2yth of May, I think it was, when they knew 
that it was filed in April or March ? Why ? Because if they 
had put that in the indictment the indictment would have 
been quashed, so far as their overt acts were concerned. 
The Court would have said, " I cannot allow you to put on 
paper that a man entered into a conspiracy on the 23d 
of May, and then did an act to carry that conspiracy 
into effect in April before that time. I cannot allow you 
to do that, because that is infinitely absurd, and plead 
ings have to be reasonable on their face." But you see 



464 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

they stated that this was done after the conspiracy. They 
had to do it or they would be gone. I believe there is no 
dispute about this law that if they describe the overt act 
and they must describe it, because it is a part of the offence 
that is, the offence is not complete without it they must 
prove it exactly as they describe it. 

If they describe it with infinite minuteness, they must 
prove it with infinite minuteness. If they set out that an 
affidavit was written on bark, they must produce a bark 
affidavit. If they were foolish enough to say it was written 
in red ink they must produce it in red ink. If they allege 
that an oath was sworn to twice before two notaries public 
they must produce an oath sworn to twice. They are 
bound to prove exactly what they charge, and if they were 
too particular about it that is their fault, not ours. 

I say that all these, with the exception of the two routes 
I have named, were filed too early to play any important 
part in this case. Now, I will come to those routes. Re 
member, that every overt act must be after the conspiracy. 
There are two exceptions, and those two exceptions include 
petitions and affidavits. And there is a splendid kind of 
justice in the way this thing is coming out, so far as that 
is concerned. 

The petitions filed on the Toquerville route and on Bridge 
Creek route, I believe, are genuine ; I believe the Govern 
ment admits that they are honest ; and they were not at 
tacked except upon one point, and that was that a daily 
mail did not mean seven times a week. The point made by 
the Government was that a daily mail meant six trips a 
week that is, where you have them every day. We took 
the ground that daily mail meant a mail every day, and that 
in the Western country, as here, they have seven days in a 
week. 

We contended that you cannot have a daily mail 
without having seven trips a week. I think that was the 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 465 

only point made against these petitions that they were for 
a daily mail, and that somebody put in a figure 7. 

No petition for increase of service alone was ever at 
tacked by the Government in this case, except 25 L, on The 
Dalles route, and 20 H and 29 H, on the Canyon City 
route. 25 L was filed April 23, 1879. That was one 
month before the conspiracy had life. Consequently that is 
mustered out of this case as an overt act. 

23 L was filed June 27, 1879, and is in time, provided it 
had been a dishonest petition. And it is the only petition 
filed on the date alleged in the indictment, and it was not 
attacked. It was signed by the business men of Baker City, 
and is set out, I believe, on page 1617. 

20 H was filed May 7th. That is not in time. That is 
gone. 

29 H has no file mark, and never was proved. So that 
goes. 

All the allegations as to false petitions for increase of 
service and by that I mean additional trips are shown to 
have been genuine, honest, true petitions. 

There are but two affidavits, one correctly described. 
Both were made by Peck. Mr. Bliss admits that Peck had 
nothing to do with any of these routes after April i, 1879, 
and both of them were made by Peck, and were sworn to 
before that date. 

The affidavit on the Toquerville route was filed by M. C. 
Rerdell, who swears that he was not in any conspiracy to 
defraud the United States ; that he was not in a conspiracy 
with Vaile and Miner and John W. Dorsey, nor with any. 
body else. It was filed by the subcontractor of record, M. 
C. Rerdell, and it is the same route on which Mr. Rerdell, 
by virtue of his subcontract, appropriated about five thou 
sand dollars of money belonging to other people. 

The other exception is on the Bridge Creek route, and, 
strange as it may appear, that was also filed by Mr. RerdelL 



466 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

And, strange as it may appear, it has not been successfully 
impeached as to the men and horses necessary under the 
existing and proposed schedule. The overt act is not 
proved, because the oath is not proved to be false, and be 
cause Peck and Rerdell, according to Mr. Bliss's admission 
and according to Rerdell's oath, were not in the conspiracy, 
and the overt act has to be done by one of the conspirators, 
of course. 

The COURT. I understood I do not know whether I have 
been under a delusion all this time or not that the indict 
ment charged that these affidavits and false petitions were 
the means by which the conspiracy was to be carried into 
execution ; that they were not the overt acts. If they had 
been set out as overt acts in the indictment, the Court would 
have seen that they antedated the time, and if an objec 
tion had been made to them the Court would not have re 
ceived them as overt acts. The reason why they have been 
admitted and regarded as in the case all along, to my mind, 
was that they were acts tending to prove, so far as they 
tended to prove anything, the nature of the combination be 
tween these parties anterior to the 23d of May. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Before the conspiracy. 

The COURT. Before the conspiracy. So that whatever 
chaiacter belonged to that association anterior to that time, 
if it was continued on after that time, carried out with overt 
acts done subsequently to that time, they were properly re 
ceived as evidence going to establish the conspiracy not 
as overt acts, but as means to show the character of the 
combination amongst the parties anterior to that date. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That saves me a great deal of argu 
ment. Now, I understand, gentlemen, that the Court will 
instruct you that you cannot take any petition, any letter, 
any oath, any paper of any kind that was filed or written 
or used prior to the 23d of May, 1879, as an overt act; that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 467 

all that that evidence is for is to show you the relation 
sustained by the parties before that time. 

The COURT. Yes; you are right. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Now, that saves a great deal of trouble. 

There are on the Toquerville and Adairville route, and 
on the Eugene City and Bridge Creek route, petitions filed 
after the 23d of May, 1879, set out in the indictment as overt 
acts. I shall insist, if the Court will allow me, that if there- 
is no evidence that those petitions were dishonest, no evi 
dence going to show that they were not genuine, those peti 
tions cannot be used as overt acts for the reason that they 
are charged in the indictment as false and fraudulent peti 
tions. So, gentlemen, I take that ground, that as to the 
petitions filed after the 23d day of May on the only two routes 
left for these gentlemen to find overt acts upon (Eugene 
City to Bridge Creek, and Toquerville to Adairville), if 
those petitions have not been proved to be false they can 
not be regarded as overt acts for the reason that they were 
described in the indictment itself as false and fraudulent 
petitions. It is perfectly clear, is it not ? 

What else have we left ? A couple of affidavits. Who 
made them? Mr. Peck. When? Before the ist day of 
April, 1879, and Mr. Bliss admits that from that time on he 
never had anything to do with this business. Mr. Rerdell 
filed them, and Mr. Rerdell swears that he was never in any 
conspiracy; and Mr. Bliss admits that Peck, after the ist 
of April, had nothing to do with this business. That sub 
stantially knocks the bottom out of that dish. 

Now, they attacked the affidavit on the Bridge Creek 
route, but they did not succeed in showing that it was not 
an honest affidavit. 

Now, gentlemen, after what the Court has decided I want 
to call your attention to another thing. 

Do not forget what the Court has decided that all these 



468 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

things are not overt acts, but that they simply show the 
relations of the parties. 

Now, if you go and find Vaile and Miner getting up peti 
tions on their routes, and you also find Dorsey getting up 
petitions on his routes, then they claim that that is the 
result of an agreement between them. That is not the law. 
Neither is there in that the scintilla of common sense. If 
I find you plowing in j^our field and your neighbor plow 
ing in his field, I have no right to draw the conclusion that 
you have conspired to plow or to help each other. But if I 
find your neighbor and you plowing in your field, and I 
afterwards find you and your neighbor plowing in his 
field, I have the right to conclude that you have swapped 
work and that you have something in common. If I find 
you plowing in your field and your neighbor walking be 
hind you sowing grain or dropping corn, and then I find 
you in the fall shucking out the corn together, and I find 
your neighbor taking half of it to his barn and you taking 
half of it to your barn, I make up my mind that you have 
had some dealings on the corn question. 

Now, we find that on May 5, 1879, these parties abso 
lutely divided, and after that, when Vaile and Miner got 
up a petition on their route, Dorsey did not help them ; 
and when Dorsey got up one on his, Vaile and Miner did 
not help him. That shows what the relations of the parties 
were. Does that show that they were then in a conspiracy ? 
Does it show that they had any conspiracy before that 
time ? They had separated their interest ; they had ceased 
to act together ; one did nothing for the other. If there 
had been a conspiracy before that time that conspiracy 
died on the 5th of May, 1879 ; and if it did, then there is no 
possibility of any conviction in this case, no matter what 
the evidence is not the slightest. 

Now, I want you to understand that ground exactly. I 
am not begging the question. I am not afraid to meet 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 469 

every point, every paper, every scratch, in this case. But 
I want you to understand it. All those things were 
allowed for the purpose of showing the relations of the 
parties, the relations that the defendants sustained to each 
other ; and the evidence is that they sustained no relations 
to each other after 1879; that each went his own road to 
attend to his own business in his own way. That is the 
evidence. 

Now comes the next point. What are the overt acts in 
the indictment ? Really they are the orders made by Mr. 
Brady, unless you take this poor little affidavit made by 
Peck and filed by Rerdell. 

Then comes the next point. You cannot treat anything 
as an overt act unless it was made by one of the conspir 
ators. Is there any evidence in this case that Mr. Brady 
ever conspired with anybody ? Not the slightest. And un 
less he conspired with us any orcier made by him cannot 
be regarded as an overt act in this case. I think every 
body will admit that. Unless Brady conspired with us, 
and we with him, any order of his cannot be regarded as 
an overt act. 

I ask you, gentlemen, what evidence is there in this 
case that Mr. Brady ever conspired with any of these 
defendants? I will answer that question before I get 
through, and I think I will answer it to your entire satis 
faction. 

I will go a step further in this case, and I may go a little 
further than the Court will go. I say that when they state 
in that indictment that an order is made for the benefit oi 
Miner, Vaile, and Dorsey, and the evidence is that it was 
made for the benefit only of Vaile and Miner, that is a 
fatal variance, and it cannot be treated as an overt act for 
any conspiracy. And when the indictment charges that 
an order was made for the benefit of S. W. Dorsey, and 
Vaile, and Miner, and it turns out that it was made for the 



470 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

sole benefit of S. W. Dorsey, I claim that that is a fatal 
variance. 

Gentlemen, I was going through all these overt acts and 
all these terrible false claims. But the decision of the 
Court has utterly and entirely relieved me from that duty. 
So I will turn my attention to another person. 

The next defendant to whom I may call your attention 
is Mr. John W. Dorsey. It is claimed that John W. 
Dorsey was one of the original conspirators ; that he help 
ed to hatch and plot this terrible design. Let us see what 
interest John W. Dorsey had. You have heard me read 
the agreement he made, have you not, with Miner ? Now, 
let me read to you the agreement that he made on the i6th 
day of August, 1878. Now, we will find out what interest 
John W. Dorsey had in all this conspiracy. On the i6th 
of August, 1878, there was no reason for telling any lie 
about it. They could not get on the routes in August, 
1878 ; they had not the money, and so they took in Vaile. 
At that time, gentlemen, there was no reason for their 
writing anything in this paper that was not true, not the 
slightest. And I take it for granted that most people tell 
the truth when there is no possible object in telling any 
thing else, if their memory is good : 

4th. The profits accruing from the business shall be divided as 
follows : From routes in Indian Territory, Kansas, Nebraska, and 
Dakota, to H. M. Vaile, one-third. 

To John R. Miner, one-sixth ; to John M. Peck, one-sixth ; and to 
John W. Dorsey, one-third. 

From routes in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Ari 
zona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California, to 
H. M. Vaile, one-third ; to John R. Miner, one-third ; to John M. 
Peck, one-third. [Page 4014.] 

And to John W. Dorsey nothing. The entire interest of 
John W. Dorsey in the whole business was one-third of 
the profits on routes in the Indian Territory, Kansas, 
Nebraska, and Dakota. This was signed by H. M. Vaile, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 471 

John R. Miner, John M. Peck, and John W. Dorsey, and I 
believe these are all admitted to be the genuine signatures 
of the parties. 

The only routes mentioned in this indictment in which 
John W. Dorsey on the i6th day of August, 1878, had any 
interest whatever were : Kearney to Kent in Nebraska, 
Vermillion to Sioux Falls in Dakota, and Bismarck to 
Tongue River in Dakota. Remember that, gentlemen. 
That is very important. The evidence is that he sold out his 
interest in the following December, made a bargain for ten 
thousand dollars, and the evidence is that he received the 
money, and the evidence is that after that he never had any 
interest in the profits, no matter how much was made. And 
yet these gentlemen say that he was part and parcel of a 
conspiracy formed on the 23d of May, 1879. Long before 
that time he had sold out every dollar's interest he had, and 
had no more interest in it than though he had never existed. 
He got his ten thousand dollars ; that was all. Now let us 
see what he did when the routes were divided. 

Mr. MERRICK. When did you say he sold out and got the 
money ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. The bargain was made in December, and 
his brother wrote to him at first that Vaile would not give it 
to him, and then that he would. Don't you recollect the two 
letters you asked Dorsey so much about ? 

It had been agreed to once, and then after S. W. Dorsey 
came out of the Senate John W. Dorsey was paid ten thou 
sand dollars, and Miner swears that the division was abso 
lute, perfect, and complete ; and that nothing was signed by 
one for the other after the 5th of May, 1879. 

Mr. BLISS. Miner does not say when. He swore that he 
signed no papers after the 5th of May, 1879. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. He says that he signed no papers for the 
other side, and that the other side signed none for Vaile and 
Miner. 



472 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Mr. DAVIDGE. You are talking of two different things. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I will show you after awhile that you 
are wrong, as I always do. I never made a mistake on you 
yet. 

The only routes mentioned in this indictment in which 
John W. Dorsey on the i6th day of August, 1878, had any 
interest whatever were from Kearney to Kent, in Nebraska ; 
Vermillion to Sioux Falls, in Dakota ; and Bismarck to 
Tongue River, in Dakota. And I will say right here that if 
at any time I do injustice to Mr. Bliss or anybody else, if it 
is pointed out I will take it back cheerfully, and if it is not 
pointed out, and they show that I did it, I will get up and ad 
mit it and say that I was mistaken. 

Mr. BLISS. You will have a great deal to admit. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Very well, I will do it, for I have the 
courage of conviction, and I have the courage to say that I 
am mistaken when I am. 

Now, the evidence is that John W. Dorsey sold out his 
interest for ten thousand dollars, and that he received the 
money, and that after that he had no interest in the profits 
when the three routes were divided, and the only three were 
the ones I have mentioned. 

On the first route, from Vermillion to Sioux Falls, John 
W. Dorsey was the subcontractor and he gave Mr. Vaile the 
entire pay for all increases and all expeditions. John W. 
Dorsey had the right to subcontract, and Mr. Vaile had the 
right to make the contract. The statement on page 726 
shows simply that John W. Dorsey never drew a dollar 
upon that route. That is one route fairly and squarely 
disposed of. Understand, I cast no imputation upon Mr. 
Vaile for having the contract and for getting the money. 
When I come to it I will show you that he had a right to. 

The next route is from Kearney to Kent. John W. Dor 
sey had an interest in that route, according to the agreement 
of August 1 6th, of one-third. You will see from page 726 of 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 473 

the record that the first quarter John M. Peck got the 
money, two hundred and forty-five dollars and six cents. 
John W. Dorsey was entitled to one-third of that, if 
it was profit. The next quarter was paid on the 22d of 
January, 1879 that is, for the fourth quarter of 1878, and 
that was paid to H. M. Vaile. And never another solitary 
cent was paid to anybody in such a way that John W. Dor 
sey was entitled to any part or portion of it. That gets that 
route out of trouble, so far as John W. Dorsey was con 
cerned, no matter what the increase may have been after 
that, no matter what the expedition was, no matter whether 
French carried it for nothing, no matter what happened to 
Cedarville or that city of Fitzalon ; it was no interest to 
John W. Dorsey, no matter whether the road ran direct from 
Fitzalon to Cedarville or not. He was entitled to one-third 
of the profits on one payment to Peck, and that payment 
was two hundred and forty-five dollars and six cents; 
whether he ever got it I do not know. 

Let us see how he came out on the next route, from Bis 
marck to Tongue River. He went out there to build stations. 
I will come to that in a little while. Now, I call attention to 
page 727. The third quarter from July i to September 30, 
1878, was paid November 8, 1878, to H. M. Vaile. Never 
a solitary dollar on the route was paid to John W. Dorsey, 
according to this record, if you can rely on these books. 

That is the state of the case on these three routes. And 
yet it is solemnly averred in the indictment tha t all the or 
ders on these routes were made for the joint benefit of John 
W. Dorsey and others. Now, before another payment was 
made the division of the routes had been completed, and 
John W. Dorsey sold out his interest in these routes and all 
others for ten thousand dollars. So that he never received 
a dollar upon the Bismarck route and the Vermillion route 
except as it is included in the gross sum of ten thousand 
dollars which he received for his entire interest, and that 



474 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

entire interest is described perfectly in the contract of Au 
gust 1 6, 1878. Now, if John W. Dorsey had no interest in 
any route except as stated in the contract, of course nothing 
was done upon any other route for his benefit ; nothing was 
done in which he, by any possibility, had the slightest 
pecuniary interest. How were the petitions filed for his 
benefit ? How were the affidavits made for his benefit ? 
How were the orders made for his benefit ? He had no in 
terest ; he had parted with it, and had nothing more to do 
with it than the attorneys for the prosecution in this case. 

It is claimed by Mr. Bliss that when John W. Dorsey sold 
out he agreed to make the necessary papers for the routes, 
and he tried to impress upon your minds the idea that the 
bargain was that John W. Dorsey knew that for ten thou 
sand dollars he had to commit perjury and forgery and 
several other cheerful crimes, from time to time, as he 
might be called upon by the gentlemen who had been his 
co-conspirato rs. 

J. W. Dorsey frankly and cheerfully swore that he agreed 
to make the necessary papers. He did not swear that he 
agreed to commit any frauds, perjuries, or forgeries. Noth 
ing of the kind. He agreed to execute, of course, the neces 
sary legal papers the papers that, as contractor, were neces 
sary for him to make to vest title of the route in the person 
to whom he had sold just the necessary papers that would 
allow the man who had paid him for the route to draw the 
money from the Government if he performed the service. 

Now, what were the papers ? I say right here, gentle 
men, that under the law as it was then, under the law as it 
is now, it is impossible for a contractor to assign his con 
tract so as to be relieved from responsibility to the Govern 
ment; the Government will not permit it. The Govern 
ment will permit him to make a subcontract, and that is 
what John W. Dorsey did ; that is one of the things he 
agreed to do. In order to make that subcontract absolutely 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 475 

certain ; in order to put it beyond his power to do anything 
with it, that subcontract was made for the entire pay, for 
the entire increase and expedition. And what more ? In 
order to make that absolutely perfect, so they would not 
have a loop-hole anywhere, he signed blank drafts upon 
the Post-Office Department for the entire pay of every 
quarter during the contract term. And then, if they were 
fined and nobody knew how much they would be fined 
they had the right to fill up that order for the amount due 
them from the Post-Office Department after deducting fines. 

He sold out in March, 1879. The regulation or order 
making it necessary for the contractor to make an oath as to 
additional stock and men was not in existence, was not a 
binding law or regulation, until the ist day of July, 1879. 
When he sold out in March, unless he were gifted with 
prophecy, he would not know what the regulation of the ist 
of July following would be. 

Now, there were two affidavits made by John W. Dorsey on 
route 38134, Pueblo to Rosita. Around those affidavits Mr. 
Bliss hovered and Mr. Ker remained. John W. Dorsey 
testifies that he received one of those affidavits in the morn 
ing and swore to it, and that it was filled up when he swore 
to it. Mr. Bliss and Mr. Ker, I believe, both say that it was 
not filled up. 

Mr. BLISS. Where does Mr. Dorsey say that it was filled 
up when he swore to it ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I have not the page here, but I will give 
it to you. He swore that a dozen times, that he never swore 
to any blank affidavits. 

Mr. BLISS. I undertake to say that it cannot be found in 
his evidence. 

The COURT. He testified that he received them both by 
mail, and that the second one was contained in a letter 
which said that there was an error in the first, and the 
second was sent for the purpose of correcting that error. 



476 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. There could not have been any error in 
the first unless it had been filled up. You cannot make an 
error in blank. On page 4838, Mr. Rerdell swore that he 
left this city on the i7th or i8th of April for the West, and 
then he adds, "I think on the i8th." Then the Govern 
ment brought the hotel-keepers from Sydney, Nebraska, 
and from Denver, and from some other place, nearly as 
many witnesses as you had about the paper pulp. And 
they proved that Rerdell was beyond the Missouri River on 
the 2ist of April. 

Now see what Mr. Bliss says on page 4914 : 

And yet, gentlemen, it is beyond dispute that as early as the isth 
of April, 1879, Mr. Rerdell had left this city and gone West. 

Why did he have it stated on the isth, gentlemen? I 
will tell you. Oh, I tell you the human mind is a queer 
thing when it gets to working. John W. Dorsey was in 
Middlebury, Vermont ; if a letter had been sent from here 
on the 1 5th, it certainly would have got up there before the 
2 1 st. So they wanted Rerdell out of this town as early as 
possible, so that it would make it highly improbable that it 
would take a letter from that time to the 2ist to get to 
Middlebury. Now, the evidence is that he left here, he 
thinks, on the i8th. When did the letter get up there? I 
think the 2oth or 2ist. 

Mr. DAVIDGE. There was a Sunday intervened. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. They say, gentlemen, that there is no 
evidence that the blanks were filled, and yet John W. 
Dorsey swears that he received a letter stating that the first 
affidavit was erroneous, and the second one was sent to him 
to correct it. How would you correct one affidavit in blank 
by another affidavit in blank ? How did he ever get those 
affidavits ? I will tell you. We will have that little matter 
settled. Here is what Rerdell swears on page 2232 : 

Q. When did you return from that visit? A. I returned about the 
5th of May. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 477 

Q. State whether or not after you returned, you found blank affi 
davits among the papers connected with the business ? A. Yes, sir. 

Q. How many did you find? A. Well, there were several blank 
affidavits of John W. Dorsey's and several of John M. Peck's. I don't 
know how many there were. 

Q. Were they blank affidavits ? A. Well, sir, they were blank affi 
davits similar to that one I sent, leaving out the number of men and 
animals in each case. 

Q. Did they purport to have been sworn to ? A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Were those affidavits among the papers when you left here to 
go West ? A. Some of them were. I think those of Peck's were 
here, probably four or five, or half a dozen, and I had made out, be 
fore I left here, a lot of them and sent them to John W. Dorsey. In 
the mean time, when I returned here, John W. Dorsey was here. 

Mr. Rerdell swears that just before he went away he sent 
the affidavits to John W. Dorsey, and the only question 
between them is, were they in blank, or were they filled. 
John W. Dorsey swears that they were filled, because when 
he received the second he received a letter stating that there 
was an error in the first, and that error had been corrected 
in the second. The last nail in the coffin of that doctrine. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. [Resuming.] May it please the Court and 
gentlemen of the jury, before finishing what I am about to 
say in regard to the two affidavits of John W. Dcrscy, I 
will now call your attention to a statement made by Mr. 
Bliss, on page 304, in his opening speech to you : 

Mr. Dorsey, while Senator, was, I think, chairman of the Committee 
on Post-Offices, and chairman of the subcommittee in charge of all 
the appropriations. That brought him, of course, directly in connec 
tion with the Post-Office Department and its officials, and gave him, 
as we all understand, necessarily, from the nature of the case, the 
possession of some exceptional power over officials of the department 
greater power than a Senator would have when occupying sonr~ 
other position. 

That statement was made to you, gentlemen, for the pur 
pose of making you believe that while Senator Dorsey was 
a member of the Senate he was also chairman of the Post- 
Office Committee, and of the subcommittee having power 
over the appropriations, and that he not only took advan- 



478 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

tage of being a Senator, but by virtue of being chairman of 
that committee had exceptional power over the officials of 
the Post-Office Department. He was trying to convince you 
that, finding himself chairman of that committee, finding 
himself with this power, he thereupon entered into a con. 
spiracy. What evidence did the Government offer upon 
that point ? Nothing. Did Mr. Bliss at that time suppose 
that Mr. Dorsey was chairman of that committee? The 
records were all here. The Government had plenty of 
agents to ascertain what the fact was; and yet, without 
knowing the facts, Mr. Bliss stated to this jury that he be 
lieved that ; that Dorsey was chairman of the Post-Office 
Committee and of the sub-committee; wanting to poison 
your minds with the idea that Mr. Dorsey had taken ad 
vantage of having held that position. Now, the only evi 
dence upon that point I find on page 3992, and that is the 
evidence of Mr. Dorsey himself. He is asked, Were you a 
member of the Post-Office Committee in 1877? No. In 
1878? No. Or chairman of the subcommittee? Here is 
what he says, that he had not been on that Post-Office Com 
mittee "for nearly two years" prior to July i, 1878. And 
yet an attorney representing the United States, representing 
the greatness and honor, the grandeur and the glory of fifty 
millions of people, for the purpose of poisoning your minds, 
there made that statement without knowing anything about 
it or without caring anything about it. I thought I would 
clear that point up the first thing this morning. 

Now we will go on with the affidavits. You know these 
terrible affidavits that were sworn to in Vermont. It was 
stated that the first affidavit was wrong and that the second 
affidavit was substituted for the first. Now, if the second 
affidavit took more money out of the Treasury than the 
first affidavit you might say that there was a sinister motive, 
a dishonest motive in withdrawing the first and substituting 
the second, unless it appeared clearly that the second was 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 479 

true. But suppose it turns out that the substitution did 
not take an extra dollar from the United States? Then 
what motive do you say they had in doing it ? Was it a 
motive to steal something, or was it a motive simply to be 
correct ? What other motive could there have been ? 

Now, let us see. The first affidavit said three men and 
twelve animals ; for the expedition, seven men and thirty- 
eight animals ; and the proportion was exactly three hun 
dred per cent that is, three times as much. Now, then, they 
put in another affidavit. The second affidavit says two men 
and six animals. That makes eight. And on the expedited 
schedule six men and eighteen animals, which makes twenty- 
four; and three times eight are twenty-four; exactly the 
same. Three times fifteen are forty-five, and three times 
eight are twenty-four, and the amount of money drawn under 
the second affidavit is precisely the same that would have 
been drawn under the first affidavit. 

Now, do you pretend to tell me that they took the trouble 
to withdraw the first affidavit and put in the second affi 
davit because they were trying to defraud somebody ? On 
the contrary, they took that trouble because there was a 
mistake made in the first affidavit and they wanted to cor 
rect it, not for the purpose of getting more money, but for 
the purpose of getting a correct affidavit. 

Mr. CRANE (foreman of the jury). Was not that first 
affidavit interlined ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. No, sir. 

If there had been any fraud about it, would they not 
have withdrawn the paper ? They had a right to withdraw 
it. Yet they left the paper there ; they left it there as a 
witness. Why ? Because it did not prove anything against 
them ; it only proved they desired to be correct. 

My recollection is there were erasures in both affidavits. 
Let us find them. Before I get through I will endeavor to 
show you that every erasure and interlineation is an evi- 



480 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

dence of honesty instead of dishonesty. What are the 
numbers of these affidavits ? [Examing the papers.] They 
are number 4 C and 5 C. Route 38134. I will read them. 

Hon. THOMAS). BRADY, 

Second Assistant Postmaster- General : 

SIR : The number of men and animals necessary to carry the mail 
on route 38134 on the present schedule is three men and twelve ani 
mals. The number necessary on a schedule of ten hours, seven times 
a week, is seven men and thirty-eight animals. 

Respectfully, 

JOHN W. DORSEY, 

Subcontractor. 

There does not appear to be any erasure or interlineation 
or anything else in that affidavit. Now, here is the other 
one : 

Hon. THOMAS J. BRADY, 

Second Assistant Postmaster- General: 

SIR : The number of men and animals necessary to carry the mails 
on route 38134 on the present schedule, seven times a week, is two 
men and six animals. The number necessary on the schedule of ten 
hours, seven times a week, is six men and eighteen animals. 

Respectfully, 

JOHN W. DORSEY, 

Subcontractor. 

That is the second affidavit. The first was withdrawn. 
That is, they had permission to withdraw it, and in the 
second affidavit is the interlineation " seven times a week," 
isn't it ? That is simply an interlineation, because there 
had been an omission to state the service that was then 
being performed or that was to be performed. 

Mr. CRANE (foreman of the jury). That has puzzled 
me a good deal, to understand the motive of those two 
affidavits. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. There certainly could not be any mo 
tive for putting in seven or three times a week, for this is 
simply to make it agree with the truth. If I give a note to 
a man for five hundred dollars and should happen to write 
in the word " hundred " and not the word " five," and then 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 481 

should take it back and write in the word " five " above it, 
that is not a sign of fraud. 

Will somebody give me number 18 K ; I just happened 
to see something there which may be worth something, or 
may not. 

Now, gentlemen, here is a petition marked 2 A, that 
Rerdell swears that the words " schedule thirteen hours " 
were written in by Miner. In one of these papers I hap 
pened to see the word " schedule." Just notice the word 
"schedule" on this paper [exhibiting to the jury,] and 
then have the kindness to look at the word " schedule " in 
this other one [exhibiting to the jury,] and see whether 
you think one man wrote them both. Rerdell says he 
wrote the word " schedule " in that one [indicating,] and 
that Miner wrote the word " schedule " in this other one 
[indicating.] 

Now, gentlemen, there is another charge against John 
W. Dorsey, on route 38145, and upon that route he made 
two affidavits. In the first affidavit he swore it would 
require three men and seven animals on the schedule as it 
then was, and that makes ten ; that with the proposed 
schedule it would take eleven men and twenty-six animals, 
making thirty-seven. Now, if it took ten on the schedule 
as it then was, and thirty-seven on the proposed schedule, 
then the Government, which accepted that affidavit, would 
have to pay him three times and seven -tenths as much, 
which is the relation between ten and thirty-seven. The 
proportion then is three and seven-tenths. On the first 
affidavit his pay would have been twelve thousand nine 
hundred and thirty-five dollars and fifty-two cents a year. 

Now I come to the second affidavit, which said that for 
the schedule as it then stood i.t would take twenty men and 
animals. On the proposed schedule he said it would take 
twelve men and forty-two animals, making fifty-four. 
Now, the ratio of the second affidavit was as twenty is 



482 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

to fifty-four. The ratio in the first affidavit was as ten is 
to thirty-seven, so that under the second affidavit, which 
they say was willful and corrupt perjury, he got eight 
thousand four hundred and fifty-seven dollars a year in 
stead of twelve thousand nine hundred and thirty-five 
dollars and fifty-two cents. There were three years for 
the contract to run, and a little over. Under the first affi 
davit he would have received thirteen thousand nine hun 
dred and ninety-two dollars and seventy-five cents during 
the contract term more than he took under the second. An 
affidavit was put in there that he thought was erroneous. 
He withdrew that affidavit and put in a second one. If he 
had allowed the first to remain and they had calculated the 
amount on the first he would have received thirteen thou 
sand nine hundred and ninety-two dollars and seventy-five 
cents more than he did under the second affidavit. But he 
withdrew the first and put in the second, and took from 
the Treasury thirteen thousand nine hundred and ninety- 
two dollars and seventy-five cents less, and they charge 
that as a fraud, as an evidence of conspiracy and perjury. 
Now, that is all there is against John W. Dorsey. 

On page 4090 John W. Dorsey swears that General Miles 
wanted to know how far apart he (Dorsey) was building 
the stations on the Tongue River and Bismarck route. 
Let us turn to page 4090. You know they were trying to 
prove that when John W. Dorsey went out there and built 
the ranches that he was going to build them about fifteen 
or seventeen miles apart, because it was claimed that they 
knew there was to be increase and expedition. You re 
member that. Now, when John W. Dorsey came upon the 
stand he swore that when they went out there they started 
to build those stations, I believe, somewhere in the neigh 
borhood of thirty or thirty-five miles apart, as they could 
get water. Then he swore that when he went himself over, 
I think, to Miles City, where General Miles was, that 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 483 

General Miles asked him how far he was building his 
stations apart. John W. Dorsey told him. Then General 
Miles gave him his advice. Now, I want to read this to 
you. I asked him this question : 

Q. When you got to Fort Keogh did you go to see General Miles ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you have any conversation with him in regard to this 
route, with regard to the needs of the country for mail service ; and, 
if so, what was it ? A. I told him all about the business generally. 
He seemed to understand it pretty well. He wanted to know how 
far apart we were building stations. I told him. He wanted to know 
how often the mails would run, and I told him it would be weekly 
service, I thought. "We have been pent up here two or three 
years," he says, "with mails from eighteen to twenty days apart, 
reaching us by the way of Ogden and Bozeman." And he says, 
" We can get it in seven or eight days over this line." And now I 
would like to say that he did not say that he knew there would be an 
increase, but he said he should like to have it increased to three 
trips a week, or daily, and fifty hours' time. I told him there was no use 
to try to get it at all ; that it could not be done at present ; that nobody 
knew the distance through that country ; that we expected to have it 
measured ; that it was claimed by everybody that it was a good deal 
more than two hundred and fifty and probably over three hundred 
miles, and nobody would undertake to carry it. Said I, " If you ex 
tend it the contractor can throw up his contract and you will be 
without any mail." He said, "We are going to ask for what we 
want, but we will take what they will give us." 

"Your stations are too far apart; you can't run any fast time 
with your stations so far apart ; you want more stations, and 
nearer together." The result was that when I went back I met Mr. 
Pennell, who had built the stations thirty to thirty-five miles apart, and 
going back we put in intermediate stations. We only carried out 
lumber enough from Bismarck to build eight or nine stations, for the 
windows, &c. ; we did not think of building any more at that time. 
Mr. Pennell says the order was to build the stations seventeen to 
twenty miles apart in going out. That is no such thing. There was 
not a station built going out closer than thirty to thirty-five miles. 

Q. What, if anything, did General Miles say that convinced you 
that you ought to build stations nearer together ? 

Then he testifies that on account of what he said he did 
this, and that he had no instructions from Washington. 



484 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

That is the testimony. Mr. Bliss endeavored to frighten 
the witness by stating in his presence that he (Bliss) did not 
believe General Miles would swear to any such thing, judg 
ing, of course, from the conversation that he (Mr. Bliss) had 
had with General Miles. Notwithstanding that threat, John 
W. Dorsey, confident that he was telling the truth, knowing 
that he was telling the truth, told his story, and the Gov 
ernment never brought General Miles to contradict him. 

Now, the next thing about John W. Dorsey is the conver 
sation that he had with some men in July or August out on 
the road, that I have spoken to you about before. Nothing 
could be more perfectly improbable. It may be that he did 
tell some man that he was a brother of Senator Dorsey, 
and, perhaps, he did say that if he got into a tight place or 
hard up for money he could borrow money from his brother. 
I do not know what he may have said on that subject. But, 
gentlemen, there is not a man on this jury, not one of you, 
who has the slightest suspicion that John W. Dorsey at that 
time told those men substantially that his brother was in a 
conspiracy with the Second Assistant Postmaster-General, 
and that he, John W. Dorsey, was also a conspirator. There 
is not one of you who believes that, not one, and you never 
will. Why not? Because it is so utterly and infinitely un 
reasonable and absurd. Now, that is the evidence against 
John W. Dorsey. My attention is called to one other point 
in his case, and so I will call your attention to it. 

Mr. Bliss, gentlemen, on page 243, in speaking of the two 
affidavits on the Pueblo and Rosita route, says : 

We find this extraordinary condition of things. On route 38134, 
from Pueblo to Rosita, which, I think, is the same route upon which 
the obliging Mr. John W. Dorsey, as I have just stated to you, was 
allowed to make the affidavit instead of Mr. Miner. 

Now, he goes on to describe these two affidavits, and then 
he says : 

Those two affidavits were before Mr. Brady, made by John W. 
Dorsey on the same day, and yet Mr. Brady chose to pick out one or 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 485 

the other of them and say, "I believe that as the absolutely con 
clusive statement of the number of men and animals that are now in 
use upon that route, and upon that affidavit I will make my order 
taking from the Treasury thousands of dollars of money." You will 
see that the first affidavit made the number two men and six animals, 
making eight as the number of stock and carriers then in use ; but 
the other one called for three men and twelve animals, making fifteen 
as the number then in use, and, therefore, according as he accepted 
one or the other, by the rule of three, to which I called your atten 
tion just now, there would be twice the amount of money allowed 
from the Treasury under the one affidavit that there would be under 
the other. 

Just think of that, gentlemen. The number of men and 
animals then in use has nothing to do with the number of 
men and animals stated in the other affidavit ; those amounts 
bear no relation to each other. The number of men and 
animals in use in the first affidavit, and the number that 
would be necessary on the next schedule, do bear a relation 
to each other. The number of men and animals on the 
second affidavit on the then schedule bears relation to the 
proposed number on the proposed schedule, and not to the 
number on the other affidavit. And yet Mr. Bliss stood 
right before you, with those two affidavits that would take 
the same amount of money out of the Treasury, to a fraction, 
precisely the same not the difference of the billionth part 
of a farthing and stated to you that one would take twice 
as much money from the Treasury as the other. You will 
think that he is as defective in mathematics as in law. I 
say to you now that the amount that would be taken out of 
the Treasury on those two affidavits is precisely the same. 
I did not think that anybody could excel Mr. Ker in 
mathematics, but Mr. Bliss bears off the palm. He bear^, 
off the palm even in misstatement, and bears off the palm in 
mistake. The two affidavits would call for the same amount 
of money precisely, and yet Mr. Bliss stands up before you 
and says there is twice as much on one as the other. Now, 
what is that for ? That is to prejudice you : that is all. 



486 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Gentlemen, you saw John W. Dorsey; you heard his 
testimony ; you know whether he is a man to be believed. 
It is for you to judge whether he is honest or dishonest, 
and I leave his testimony with you. It was direct ; it was 
to the point ; and his manner on the stand was absolutely 
and perfectly honest. 

Now, there is another point made. You know you have 
to think of these things as you can, and step on them and 
then go on. Another point is made, and it was urged by 
Mr. Bliss day after day. And what is that? That Mr. 
Brady took the affidavits of all these men as absolutely true ; 
that he allowed them to fix the limit of the money they 
would take out of the Treasury ; that he allowed interested 
men to make the affidavits, and then he took the affidavits 
as absolutely true ; that he allowed the contractors them 
selves to fix the sum they would seize. Now let us see 
what that is. Mr. Brady swears that he regarded the affi 
davit as the honest opinion of the man who made it, but 
not as necessarily true ; that he had a standard of his own. 
Your views upon all such questions, gentlemen, will depend 
upon which side of human nature you stand whether you 
are a believer in total depravity, or whether you think there 
is a little virtue left in human nature. If you stand on the 
side of suspicion, if you allow the snake of prejudice to 
forever whisper in your ear, why, your idea will be that 
every man is a rascal; and whenever he does a decent 
action you will say, " This action is a little velvet in the 
paw for the purpose of covering the claw of some devilment 
that he has in store." If you judge from that side you can 
torture any act, no matter what it is, into evidence of guilt. 
But you may judge from the other side and say that men, as 
a rule, are decent ; that they would rather do a kind act 
than a mean thing ; that they would rather tell the truth 
than tell a lie. I tell you to-day that there is an immensity 
of good in human nature. There are hundreds and thou- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 467 

sands and millions of men to-day who are honest, who 
would not for anything stain the whiteness of their souls 
with a lie. They are laboring-men, it may be, working by 
the day for a dollar or a dollar and a half, and only taking 
enough of it to keep life and strength in their bodies and 
giving the rest to wife and child. And there are battles as 
grand as were ever won by a celebrated general, and just as 
bravely fought, with poverty day after day ; and the man who 
fights the battles gains the victory and goes down to the 
grave with his manhood untarnished. You know it, and so 
do I. And yet you are all the time told to suspect every 
thing, no matter what it is. There is a flower there ; ah, 
but there is a snake under it ! Always making that remark ; 
accounting for every decent looking action by a base 
motive. That is not my view of human nature. 

Now, Mr. Brady says that he had a standard of his own ; 
that he let these men make their statements, and he took 
their statements as being what they believed to be the 
truth. And why not? Suppose I say to a man, "What 
will you take for that horse?" And the man says, "That 
horse is worth a hundred dollars." Suppose he goes and 
swears to it; that would not make any difference in the 
price I would give for the horse, not a bit. You see I am 
not buying an affidavit, I am buying a horse. So, when 
Brady says to the contractor, "What will you carry the 
mail at six miles an hour for?" and the man says " Twenty- 
five thousand dollars," and he swears to it, Brady is not 
buying the affidavit ; it is the service. If he does not be 
lieve the service is worth that much, he says, " I can't do 
it," and that is all. But they say " No ; that is not what 
Brady did." 

Now, as a matter of fact, there are nineteen routes in this 
indictment, and I believe eighteen of them were expedited. 
I have made a calculation .for the purpose of showing that 
the amount to be paid was a matter of bargain ; that it was 



488 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

a matter talked over between the parties ; that it was the 
result of agreement, and that Mr. Brady did not take the 
affidavit as the actual amount, and that they were not bound 
to take the amount that he actually said. Now, I have de 
ducted what was allowed from what could have been allowed 
on the affidavits, and I find that the price did not depend 
upon the affidavits. I find that there was a difference be 
tween the amount called for by the affidavits and the 
amount granted of over three hundred thousand dollars. 
And yet these gentlemen say to you that Brady allowed the 
men who made the affidavits absolutely to fix the amount. 
Gentlemen, that will not do. It was a matter of agreement, 
a matter of bargain, the same as any other agreement or 
any other bargain. 

Now, gentlemen, suppose they had had a conspiracy and 
said, " We want to get all the money we can out of the 
Treasury." They would have agreed upon a per cent. ; 
they would have had all those affidavits showing substanti 
ally the same per cent., wouldn't they? Because they 
would have wanted harmony in it. They would have said, 
" It won't do for you to make an affidavit on that route 
with one thousand two hundred per cent., on this route with 
five hundred, on that route with two hundred and twenty 
per cent., and on the other route with three hundred and 
forty per cent. That won't do ; that is nonsense; we are in 
a conspiracy and we want all these things to agree and 
harmonize." And the result would have been that they 
would have had about the same per cent, in all those affi 
davits. And yet those affidavits vary in per cent, all the 
way from two hundred and twenty to one thousand two 
hundred. They say, "Result of conspiracy." I do not look 
at it in that way. 

It is also claimed that the persons who sold out that is 
to say, John M. Peck and John W. Dorsey agreed to make 
the necessary papers that the other parties required. That 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 489 

being so, why should not affidavits have been made in 
blank? Now, I ask you if the other parties were willing to 
swear to anything that these men would write, why were 
they made that way? Why not avoid the suspicious cir 
cumstance of blanks and put the amount in at first, know 
ing that the men would not hesitate to swear? Of what 
use was it, gentlemen, to have an affidavit suspiciously 
made, to have blanks suspiciously left, when the men were 
willing to swear to any numbers they would put in ? Why 
did not the parties who made the affidavits write in the 
amounts? Does not that very fact, that blanks were left, 
show that they were to take the judgment of the men who 
were to do the swearing? Why would they leave blanks? 
Why did they not fill them up at the time and have them 
sworn to? 

Why were they not continuously written ? That is 
another point, if this was a conspiracy. Guilt is always 
conscious that it is guilty. Guilt is always suspecting de 
tection. Guilt is infinitely suspicious. Guilt would make 
all the papers as nearly right as possible. Guilt would 
look out for erasures. Guilt would abhor blots. Guilt 
would have avoided having blanks filled in with different 
colored inks. Guilt would want everything fitting every 
thing else, nothing to excite suspicion. Innocence is negli 
gent. The man with honest intentions is the one that does 
not care. But the guilty man does not travel in the snow. 
He wants no tracks left. 

Now, another thing: The fact that no effort was made to 
have the affidavits in the same handwriting, no effort to have 
the blanks apparently filled at the same time, that they were 
interlined, that there were erasures all those things tend 
to show that the parties were honest in what they did. It 
was just as easy to have one without an erasure as with it ; 
it was just as easy to have one continuously written as to 
have the blanks filled up; just as easy to have one without 



4QO CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

any interlineations as with it. And yet these parties, know 
ing that they were conspirators (according to these gentle 
men), Mr. Brady occupying a high and responsible position, 
were so careless of their reputations, that they did not even 
endeavor to make the papers passable upon their face. 

Another thing : These very routes were investigated by 
Congress in 1878 this very business. If the parties at that 
time had been conscious of guilt, why were any suspicious 
papers left on file ? Why were not others substituted that 
had no suspicious interlineations, no suspicious erasures, no 
suspicious blanks that had been filed? Why were these 
very affidavits at that time reported to Congress ? 

The first investigation was in 1878, and on account of 
that investigation the contractors for about a month and a 
half were left. Then there was another investigation in 
1880. 

Mr. MERRICK. Is there any evidence that they were all 
reported to Congress ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I think so; I think that is here in the 
record. I understand the evidence to be that it was all re 
ported to Congress. 

Mr. MERRICK. The investigation of 1880 was general, 
and not as to these particular routes. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. In 1878 there was a special investigation 
growing out of these Clendenning bonds and out of the 
Peck bids, and out of the connection that they said Stephen 
W. Dorsey had with this business. That is what it grew 
out of. Now, in the light of that investigation, let us take 
it for granted for one moment that according to their state 
ment the parties had conspired. If anything on earth would 
make them afraid about papers I think it would have been 
that investigation ; and yet no effort was made to conceal 
one, not the slightest. 

Then we will go another step. General Brady was Second 
Assistant Postmaster-General. All these papers were abso- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 49! 

lutely in his power. He could have called for them at any 
time. Every suspicious paper could have been destroyed or 
an unsuspicious one substituted for it. 

Now, I want to know if it is conceivable that General 
Brady, under these charges, when the new administration 
came in, under the threat of the Government, would volun 
tarily leave those papers upon the files if they had been dis 
honest and he knew it? 

Take another step. So far as we have learned from the 
prosecution I believe there is one paper claimed by them to 
have been lost. They do claim that there was a second 
affidavit on the Bismarck and Tongue River route. One is 
gone and one remains. Which remains ? . The affidavit for 
one hundred and fifty men and one hundred and fifty horses. 
It seems to me absolutely capable of demonstration that we 
did not take the one that is gone. Had we been going to 
take anything we would have taken the one for one hundred 
and fifty men and one hundred and fifty horses, and left the 
other. But the other, about which nobody ever did com 
plain, was taken, and the one upon which they build their 
great argument of fraud upon that route was left. And 
then it turned out that General Brady only allowed forty per 
cent, of that affidavit. 

Now, this prosecution was not begun in a moment. It 
was talked about for weeks and months, I might almost say 
for years. Talk, talk, talk in the papers everywhere. 
These men were not suddenly charged with this offence. 
They understood it ; they knew it. I think I have been en 
gaged in this suit, or suits growing out of this business, for 
two years. It was a matter of slow growth. Mr. Brady 
retired, I believe, some time in April, 1881, knowing at that 
time that these charges had been made and that the charges 
were being pressed. Mr. Dorsey knew it at the same time. 
All these defendants knew it. Now they say that at that 
time we were in conspiracy with Mr. Brady, and they say 



492 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that at that time we were in conspiracy with Mr. Turner. 
We had the papers in our power. 

Now, if Mr. Dorsey was wicked enough to conspire, if Mr. 
Brady was villainous enough to conspire, I ask you whether 
they would have left behind the evidence of their conspiracy ? 
Why were the papers left ? Because General Brady never 
ireamed that one of them was dishonest. 

Why did not Vaile and Miner, John W. Dorsey and Peck 
and Stephen W. Dorsey ask for the papers ? Because they 
believed every one to be honest, and they had no use for 
them. They were willing that the Government should 
make out of them what it could. I ask again, is 'it conceiv 
able that John R. Miner, if he knew there was on the files of 
the department a petition that he had changed, that he had 
erased, that he had interlined or forged, is it conceivable, if 
he had been wicked enough to enter into the conspiracy, 
that he would have been foolish enough to leave the paper 
there ? Would he not have gone to Brady and said to him, 
" I conspired ; you know it ; I changed the petition, and I 
want it ; I erased a word in a petition, I want it ; I signed 
a name to a petition, I want it" ? And Brady would have 
said, " Yes, and you ought to have called for it long ago; 
you can have it." If S. W. Dorsey had interlined an affi 
davit or had filled a blank, if S. W. Dorsey had made an 
erasure or an interlineation, he, of course, must have known 
it, and if he conspired with Brady he must have known it, and 
he must have gone to General Brady and said, " I want that 
affidavit on such a route ; we can write another, and I want 
that ; I want that petition ; " and it would have been given. 
You cannot conceive of such infinite stupidity as to say that 
those people knew that those papers were dishonest, and that 
they still left them on file as weapons for their enemies. You 
cannot do it. 

So much, gentlemen, for the affidavits, and so much for 
the papers. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 493 

Now, there is another question, and I have no doubt 
that you have asked it yourselves. It has been asked a 
great many times by the prosecution. That question is this : 
Why did Dorsey retain Rerdell in his employ after the 2oth 
of June, 1 88 1 ? These gentleman tell you that it is evidence 
of guilt that he did it. I will tell you why he did it. At 
that time the public mind was almost infinitely excited on 
this question. At that time the public was ready to believe 
anything. It had its mouth wide open, like a young robin, 
ready for worms or shingle-nails it made no difference 
anything that dropped in. Every newspaper was charging 
that these defendants were guilty, that Stephen W. Dorsey 
was a conspirator, that millions had been taken from the 
Treasury, and there were nearly as many mistakes in the 
press then as in the speech of Mr. Bliss now. But I can ex 
cuse that, because it was before the evidence. Now, what 
was Mr. Dorsey to do in the then state of the public mind? 
That man, no matter how bad he was, how base he was, had 
the power to have him indicted. That man could have gone 
before the grand jury and had Mr. Dorsey or any other 
public man indicted in the then state of excitement and feel 
ing of the public. What was the result of his going even to 
James and MacVeagh ? I believe Mr. Turner says that on 
account of the statement of this man Rerdell, he (Turner) 
was turned out of his office. That is the effect. What be 
came of McGrew ? What became of Lilley ? What became 
of Lake ? What became of twenty or thirty other officials 
upon whose reputation this man had breathed the poison of 
slander ? Stephen W. Dorsey at that time knew that that 
man in the then state of public excitement was powerful for 
mischief. That man made the affidavit of June, 1881 , at the 
request of James W. Bosler, as he himself says, and swore 
that he went to the Government simply to find out the Gov 
ernment's secrets ; swore that he was still upon the side of 
Stephen W. Dorsey ; took back what he had said, and swore 



494 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

that it was a lie. The question then was what to do with 
him ? Stephen W. Dorsey made up his mind not to do any 
thing more, just to let him alone, just let him stay as he 
was. That was the wise course. It was the course that any 
wise man, in my judgment, would have pursued under the 
circumstances. What else could he do ? Let him alone. 
Let him alone. He did not at that time expect that he would 
ever be indicted. He shrank from an indictment, as every 
sensitive man does, because when you have indicted a man 
you have put a stain upon him that even the verdict of not 
guilty does not altogether remove. He did not want that 
stain. He was a man of power ; he was a man of position, 
a man of social and political standing, a man wielding as 
much influence as any other one man in the United States. 
He did not wish to be indicted. He did not wish his 
reputation to be soiled and stained. And so he allowed 
that man to stay where he was. He may have made a mis 
take, but whether mistake or not, that is what he did. 

There is another question. Why did we fail to produce 
our books and papers ? I will tell you. The notice to pro 
duce them was given to us on the i3th day of February. 
We had noticed curious motions. Two days afterwards, 
Mr. Rerdell went on the stand. What did they want the 
books and papers for ? For Mr. Rerdell to look at. Why 
did he want to look at the books and papers ? To stake 
out his testimony. He hated to depend upon his memory. 
We took the responsibility of letting the witness swear to the 
contents of the books and papers, and let them call that 
secondary evidence. We took that responsibility rather than 
to furnish the books and papers to be looked at by that man 
in order that he might make no mistakes in his testimony. 
What happened afterwards justified our course. If we had 
shown to him the books and papers, and checks, and stubs, 
do you think he would have made any mistake about that 
seven thousand five hundred dollar check ? Would he have 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 495 

said that he went with Dorsey, and that Dorsey drew the 
money, and that he looked over his shoulder, and that then 
he and Dorsey walked down to the Post-Office Department, 
if he had known that that check was drawn to his order ? 
If he had known before he swore, that he indorsed that 
check, he would have said he went down and got the money 
himself ; he would not have said that Dorsey did. He would 
have made no mistakes there. He would not have been 
driven into the corner of saying " stub " or "stubs," "check 
book " or " check-books," " amount" or " amounts." No, sir. 
And that one thing justified absolutely the wisdom of our 
course. 

Then the Court decided that, having failed to produce our 
books on notice and allowed the other side to introduce 
secondary evidence of their contents, we would not be al 
lowed then to produce them. I insisted that we had the 
right then to produce them, and the Court decided that we 
had not. We took the responsibility of refusing, and we 
took that responsibility because we made up our minds that 
we would not allow that man to look over the books, checks, 
and stubs for the purpose of manufacturing his testi 
mony. 

The COURT. Where did you offer to produce the books ? 

Mr. MERRICK. Where did you offer the production of 
the books? That is just what I was about to ask. 

Mr. CARPENTER. The Court said we could not. 

Mr. MERRICK. Where did you make the offer? 

The COURT. I want to know. 

Mr. CARPENTER. Mr. Ingersoll did not say he made the 
offer. 

Mr. MERRICK. I think he did. 

The COURT. I think he did. 

Mr. CARPENTER. Just read it, Mr. Stenographer. He 
says nothing of the kind. 

The STENOGRAPHER, (reading) 



496 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

I insisted that we had the right then to produce them, and the 
Court decided that we had not. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is exactly what I say. 

The COURT. The Court did not give any intimation at that 
time, but after that point in the trial had passed, several 
days, several weeks, I think, the attention of the Court was 
called to this question, and the Court remarked, in the 
course of the opinion, that it understood the law to be that 
after a party, upon whom notice had been given to produce 
books, had failed to produce the books, and the other side 
had given secondary evidence, then the Court would not 
allow the party having the books to produce them for the 
purpose of contradicting the secondary evidence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That is all I claim. 

The COURT. But there was no such offer made, so far as 
I recollect. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Why should we make the offer after 
your Honor had decided that we could not do it ? 

Mr. MERRICK. I will answer the question. Because 
whether it would have been accepted or not was a question 
for the counsel for the Government when the offer was 
made. And again, the learned counsel will recollect that 
after the notice was given, when S. W. Dorsey was on the 
stand on cross-examination, I demanded those books and 
those stubs, and he asked leave to consult his counsel. The 
Court denied that request, and then there was a peremptory 
refusal to produce any book or any paper. 

The COURT. Oh, yes. Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Davidge 
repeatedly announced to the Court that they were not 
going to produce books to assist the prosecution. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Yes ; I said that twenty times, and the 
Court, as I understood it, held that after we had refused to 
produce the books and driven the other party to secondary 
evidence, we could not then produce the books. 

The COURT. You made no offer to produce the books. 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 497 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I resisted the opinion of the Court and 
made the best argument I could, but the Court said that 
was not the law. 

The COURT. The remark of the Court arose upon an 
argument on the part of Mr. Ingersoll, and if I am not 
mistaken, upon the effect of the refusal to produce the 
books and papers, Mr. Ingersoll contending that there was 
no presumption against his client on account of the refusal 
to produce the books and papers, and that the jury ought 
to be instructed that the only effect of refusing to produce 
the books and papers was to leave the case upon the 
secondary evidence. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I am not referring to that discussion, 
nor to that decision of your Honor ; I am referring to the 
decision you made during the trial. 

The COURT. That was the only occasion since this trial 
began, in which the Court referred to that rule of law 
which denied the right to introduce primary evidence for 
the purpose of contradicting the secondary evidence, after 
the primary evidence had been withheld in the first 
instance. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Of course, I am not absolutely certain, 
I never am ; but I will endeavor to find in the record 
exactly what you said on that subject. 

And now, in order that we may be perfectly correct, and 
in order to show, too, how easy it is to be mistaken, Mr. 
Merrick just said upon that very subject of the books and 
papers, that while Mr. Dorsey was upon the stand, he 
asked leave to consult his counsel. If Mr. Merrick will 
read the testimony he will find that Mr. Dorsey made that 
remark when he was asked about the affidavit of June 20, 
1881. 

Mr. MERRICK. You are right. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. That just shows how easy it is to make 
a mistake when it comes to a matter of recollection, 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

Mr. MERRICK. I think it was upon a question of the 
insertion of the change in the character of the affidavit 
its being addressed to the President ; and when I asked 
him if he had not made that change he asked leave to con 
sult his counsel. For the moment I thought it was upon 
the books. But the substance still remains, that, on the 
question of the books, I asked him on his cross-examina 
tion and the counsel will state his recollection to be the 
same about the stubs and the books, and called upon him 
to produce them, and the counsel replied, " We will not." 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I presume I did. I made that reply a 
good many times. 

Mr. MERRICK. Will the counsel be frank enough to 
state when that decision was made ? 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Which decision ? 

Mr. MERRICK. When he was on the stand on cross- 
examination. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. And I said we would not produce them ? 

Mr. MERRICK. After the testimony in chief and Rerdell 
was gone. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Then I said we would not produce 
them. And now I will say that the decision of the Court 
was made before that time that we could not produce them, 
and if I do not show it then I will publicly take it back. 

The COURT. I do not think you can show it. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. If I do not, then I will beg your Honor's 
pardon, and if I do if I do 

Now, I think what happened afterwards in this case with 
that very witness justifies the course that we pursued. 
He also stated at the time that we had, I believe, some 
twenty thousand pages of letters on all possible subjects to 
a great number of people. We knew that there was a 
spirit abroad and some of it in a part of the prosecution 
to find something against somebody else somewhere. We 
made up our minds that our private books and correspond- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 499 

ence never should be ransacked by this Department of 
Justice. We took the consequences, and we are willing to 
take them. We say that the inference from our refusal is 
an inference of fact, and must be decided by the jury, and 
is not an inference of law. 

We have been asked a good many times why we did not 
put James W. Bosler on the stand. The prosecution sub 
poenaed Mr. Bosler. They appeared to have an affection 
for him. They subpoenaed him, and he came here. After 
wards they issued an attachment for him. They had him 
arrested at midnight and brought here. He gave some 
testimony, and you will find it on page 2611. 

Mr. MERRICK. I do not know that there was an attach 
ment. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. You know you have a right to prove 
things by circumstances. Now, it is said that he put the 
marshal out of the house; I think that is evidence tending 
to show that an attachment was issued. 

Mr. KER. And kept him out with a club. 

The COURT. I understood also that Mr. Dorsey kicked 
somebody else out of his house about the same time. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. Oh, yes ; it has been a very lively term 
of court. 

There were two very important things that they were to 
prove by Mr. Bosler, and they were patting him on the 
back here for weeks. Friendship sprang up between 
them. It was a very young plant at first, but the Bosler 
ivy grew upon the oak of the prosecution. I saw him 
sitting here, everything delightful. The prosecution, I 
hoped, began to flatter itself that Mr. Bosler was on their 
side ; I hoped that was so. Finally they put Mr. Bosler on 
the stand. What did they want to prove by him ? That 
Dorsey wrote a letter to him on the i3th of May, i879 j 
telling how much money he had given to Brady ; that is 
one thing they wanted to prove by him. The second thing 



500 CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 

was that Rerdell had written a letter to Bosler, I believe, 
on the 2Oth of May or 226. of May, 1880, stating that he 
(Rerdell) had been subpoenaed to go before the Congres 
sional committee and take his books and papers ; that he 
got very much frightened ; that he had taken the advice of 
Brady and got a very valuable suggestion from Brady, 
which he was going to follow. They wanted to prove that 
by Mr. Bosler. 

Rerdell had already sworn that Dorsey sent a letter to 
Bosler on the i3th of May, 1879. Rerdell had sworn to 
the contents of that letter ; that the contents were that he 
had paid Brady so much money, &c., which you remember, 
and then that he, in 1880, had written a letter to Mr. 
Bosler, and I believe he pretended to have a copy of it. 
Now, here comes Bosler's testimony, on page 2611. 

Q. Have you made a search among your papers to find a letter 
alleged to have been written to you by Stephen W. Dorsey, and dated 
on or about the i3th of May, 1879? Yes, sir. 

That is the letter that Rerdell swore about. 

Q. Have you searched ? A. I have. 

Q. Did you find it? -A. No, sir. 

Q. Have you made search for a letter purporting to have been 
written by him to you, and dated on or about the 22d of May, 1880? 
A. Yes, sir. 

Q. Did you find that letter ? A. I did not. 

The COURT : Was there ever such a letter ? 

Bosler replied : " There never was such a letter received 
by me." 

There is the testimony of Mr. Bosler, and on that testi 
mony the two letters of May 13, 1879, and May 22, 1880, 
turn to dust and ashes. 

Now, they say, "Why didn't you put Bosler on?" Not 
much necessity of Mr. Bosler after that. And besides, 
gentlemen,! believe I will take you into my confidence just 
a little bit. The evidence of Rerdell as to the affidavit of 
June 20, 1 88 1, and the affidavit of July 13, 1882 (an affi- 



CLOSING ADDRESS IN SECOND STAR ROUTE TRIAL. 50! 

davit in which he swore that there was nothing against Mr. 
Bosler, an affidavit that was made apparently for the benefit 
of Bosler), all that evidence, the evidence of Mr. Stephen W. 
Dorsey upon those questions, advertised the prosecution 
that Mr. Bosler knew of many circumstances ; that he was 
present a portion of the time, and I did not know but finally 
the prosecution would get so much confidence in Mr. Bosler 
that they would call him. I was hoping they would. They 
did not. It did not work quite as I expected. That is all 
there is about that. 

Now, there is one further point to which I wish to call 
your attention. I want you to remember that a partnership 
is not a conspiracy, although all the facts about a partner 
ship are consistent with the idea of a conspiracy up to a 
certain point ; and all the facts about a conspiracy are con 
sistent with a partnership up to a certain point. The fact that 
men act together does not show that they have conspired ; 
does not show that they have a wicked design. The fact 
that they are engaged in the same business does not show 
that they have a wicked design or that they are there by 
conspiracy. In other words, I want your minds so that you 
will distinguish between a fact that may be innocent, and 
generally is innocent, and a fact that must be evidence of 
guilt. I want you to distinguish between the facts common 
to all partnerships, common to all agreements, and those 
facts that necessarily imply a criminal intent. If you wil 
do that gentlemen, you will have but little trouble. 

[At this point a volume of the report of the trial wat 
handed up to the Court by Mr. Ingersoll with a reference to 
a certain page]. 

The COURT. Without looking at the book I take risk 
of saying that the Court never announced its opinion on 
that question until the case referred to a few moments 
ago. 

Mr. INGERSOLL. I just gave my memory on t